About Solar

What You Need to Know About Solar

99.99% of all the energy humans need to thrive and survive is solar energy! Most people are unaware of the massive amount of energy supplied by the sun and that less than .01% of the energy we need comes from dams, oil, natural gas, LNG, wood, coal and nuclear plants at great cost, great environmental destruction and an unprecedented future calamity.

Solar energy comes from a nuclear fusion plant that is 150,000,000 kilometers away. It is safe, powerful, environmentally friendly, free and has been reliable for billions of years. It is expected to be reliable for billions more. This massive energy source already makes every Canadian job possible. It can create millions of additional jobs but tragically our governments are tied to dirty or destructive energy sources that kill millions each year and now threaten the future of humanity. What are we doing??

Costs of solar

The cost of solar panels has fallen dramatically in recent decades. From approximately $100 a watt in 1975 to less than $1 a watt today. Large scale utility solar installations now produce electricity for less than conventional electrical dams and fossil fuel plants. BC Hydro will see significant price increases as they build another massive new dam on the Peace River. Hydro are planning on approximately a 30% price increase by 2020.  Your solar costs will stay the same for decades.

When the truly massive costs associated with climate change, the true cost of flooding large areas and the cost of electrical distribution are included in the cost of conventional energy, the LEAST expensive ways of producing electricity are wind and solar.  For reasons unknown our senior governments support more expensive energy while our local governments make solar needlessly expensive with illogical rules.

Conventional power sources

Governments in Canada currently subsidize dirty fossil fuels over $30 billion a year. These dirty fuel subsidies make our poor energy choices inevitable, they work against renewable energy and they have created the climate change threat we now face. Our governments also regard hydroelectricity as carbon free, which is only true if the massive amount of CO2 produced during construction is ignored.  If the carbon produced by decaying vegetation in reservoirs is ignored.  If the carbon storage denied to millions of acres flooded or used for transmission lines is ignored and if the carbon produced when a dam is replace or removed is ignored.  A lot of ignoring is required for the way we do things.

The disastrous tar-sands oil requires a cleaner fossil fuel, natural gas to produce.  Liquid Natural Gas or LNG, also requires a huge amount of energy to produce. From the drills and fracking, the heavy equipment, the steel that goes into the pipelines, the energy required to make the ships that transport the LNG, the refining and distribution and the energy required to make LNG a liquid are all large carbon sources. Most importantly the millions of natural gas leaks make LNG WORSE than coal.  See info LNG here.

Emissions compared

Everything we do produces carbon, including breathing, however solar is one of our best choices. Life-cycle carbon emissions for solar are between .07 and .18 pounds per kilowatt hour. Natural gas is about .6 and 2 pounds of carbon per kilowatt hour. If we ignore the inevitable NG leaks,  coal is 1.4 and 3.6 pounds or carbon per kilowatt hour. So solar is approximately 11 times better than natural gas and 21 times better than coal. If natural gas is turned into LNG, shipped across an ocean and total leaks are more than 2% the LNG is worse than coal. (Statistics from IPCC).

Dams in BC

In the early 1990’s the German government decided to get behind solar energy. This resulted in solar power more than doubling every 2 years in Germany and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Germany is the largest producer of solar energy and on May 26, 2012 solar produced 40% of all German electrical energy. German solar capacity is 4 times more than the dams in BC.  The new Site C dam will have a capacity of 1,100 MW and cost $10 billion. It will not produce 1,100 MW all day, every day. On average dams produce about 40% of their rated output. This amount of electrical energy could be produced by solar for less, provide more jobs, more energy, less carbon and use far less land.

It is difficult for people who have been involved with hydro, nuclear, coal or natural gas to adopt to something completely outside their area of expertise. This is a big part of the problem. These experts have the government’s ear, they do not have solar experience and they are busy doing what they do. If climate change is the real problem, that ALL of the world’s climate scientist believe it is, then we must adopt renewable power and it must be recognized that the true cost of conventional energy is higher than renewable energy.

Solar and your home

There are virtually no efficient homes in Canada. It is possible to power a home with solar energy, collect the water you need and charge up your car.  That possibility has been ignored in Canada which shows how poor our leadership has been.  Instead of building homes like this we are building homes that are larger, use more resources, cost far more and use more energy. In other words we are going in exactly the wrong direction. Go figure??

If we want a livable future for Canada we have to respect the unanimous scientific evidence and do things differently. We must pay the true cost of current energy sources and stop believing the vested interests who would have you believe that fossil fuels are the key to a prosperous future. The early adopters of green energy, electric cars and passive homes are leading the way.

For the sake of our grandchildren be part of the energy change we need to make.




Ready to make the shift to solar? Contact us today for your free solar assessment.