Date : June 2013
Solar energy is “energy source that involves tapping the radiant light energy that is emitted by the sun and converting it into electricity.” 1 The conversion of solar energy into electricity is starting to be more popular as the year’s progress, as it should be used more around the world. This essay will cover what the land has to offer and how we are using it, how it affects us Canadians and the world, what the government is trying to do to help grow the use of solar energy, the advantages and disadvantages it has and the production side of solar energy. Solar energy should be used everywhere from the results and cost reductions of electricity.
They’re many places using solar energy but aren’t using a lot of it. “The top 5 countries using solar energy in 2010 are Germany (9,785 MW), Spain (3,386 MW), Japan (2,633 MW), United States (1,650 MW) and Italy (1,167 MW)”2. If the whole world were to use solar energy in different places, it has been estimated that we would only need “366,375 square kilometers of land would power the entire world with solar energy”3 If solar farms were spread out all around the world in different parts especially in deserts, it could be great for the world. “World-wide, there are about 4 billion hectares of open, unused land.” 4 Way more solar panels could be place around the world but of course not all of this land could be used. For example Ontario is high up there in the rankings of North America, “In 2010, Ontario ranked second in North America for solar photovoltaic installations at almost 170 megawatts.” 5 This isn’t a lot comparing to the world leader, Germany of 9,785 MW but it has majorly helped their province and they expect their investments to grow higher. “$2 billion of private money has been invested in Ontario solar projects, growing to $12.9 billion by 2018.” 6 Hopefully other provinces will follow Ontario’s success that they are having and incorporate it more. In Canada this proves other provinces are using solar energy more then others. The way solar panels work is that they are “packaged, connected assembly of photovoltaic cells. The solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. The energy is then stored into the electrical interior connectors.” 7 The energy can be then used for many things such as heating and powering different equipment. The effects of solar energy programs are very good. It emits no green house gases because it is only absorbing the sunlight, and doesn’t use chemicals for it to function. Solar energy is 100% free except for the purchases of a solar panel. It can be very expensive to set up with all the equipment needed. The going price for a “215 watt module solar panel is $892.25 in Winnipeg” not including all the equipment extra. Solar energy can affect our economy and give it a boost. As it was shown in Ontario “8,200 full-time solar jobs have been created in 2012 and we expect it to grow up to 11,400 in 2018.” Many jobs can be created from solar energy, especially in places that have people in need for jobs. “Solar PV will contribute an additional 70 cents to the typical monthly residential electricity bill each year through 2018” Ontario is trying to say that take your electricity bill and add 70 cents to it up to 2018. After that you wont need to be paying as much