gineers, consultants, and a variety of other companies and organizations who contribute directly to the growing number of solar projects in Canada. In Ontario, where the vast majority of Canada’s solar is installed, government support for solar has enabled rapidly declining costs for manufactured components. Capital costs for solar have declined by 65% over the last 6 years, to where solar + storage technology is getting cheaper than anyone ever imagined. The value of solar + storage is exactly what electricity systems of the future need (i.e. empowered consumers and a clean, cost effective solution that enhances the predictability, reliability, flexibility, and resilience of the electricity grid) with none of the unwelcome and costly social, health, and environmental externalities.
Innovations in solar + storage, with announcements like Elon Musk’s Powerwall energy storage system, designed to connect to a home solar installation, will revolutionize our energy system and make every home energy independent. The solar world has been anticipating this day, and is abuzz with the possibilities. Solar + storage is the key to making solar dispatchable as it circumvents the energy source’s main difficulty, that the energy it generates is only available when the sun is shining. Distributed generation like solar on rooftops can delay distribution system upgrades as demand on a circuit grows, because less power has to be shipped into the circuit. It also can reduce the need to build new transmission lines to carry power from distant grid-scale generation. Solar’s unique nature as a distributed
source of energy means that it can empower Canadians to reduce their carbon footprints not only with respect to their electricity use, but also by enabling carbon reductions in buildings, industry, and transportation. As we learn to adapt to a carbon-constrained future, growing load on the electricity system with plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), a new model of energy consumption is emerging. Getting that energy from renewable sources like solar is a primary objective. As we hope to demonstrate in this series, the solar industries sector recognizes the importance of clean fuels to Canadians. We encourage you to read more about CanSIA and the work of the solar industry at www.cansia.ca, or contact me with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. c
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