Price of Solar PV Drops 20% per Year in Canada

The price for solar modules dropped to C$1.52 per watt in 2011, down from $9.41 in 2001.

The price for solar photovoltaic modules dropped to C$1.52 per watt in 2011, down from $9.41 in 2001, according to the latest analysis from the federal energy department.

That price decline represents an average annual price reduction of 20% over the decade, explains Photovoltaic Technology Status & Prospects 2012' released by technology experts at Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Solar Industries Association.

Canada's capacity of solar PV grew at an annual rate of 25% between 1994 and 2008, hitting 202% in 2010 and 49% in 2011 due to incentive programs in Ontario.
Although all provinces and territories now support net-metering, market uptake has been low due to the low price of electricity in most regions, it explains.

The solar sector has experienced "continued significant investment" over the last four years, with employment in PV-related areas growing to 5,500 jobs in 2012 compared with 2,700 in 2009.

The Feed-In Tariff program in Ontario is viewed by the PV industry "as a major step towards developing a competitive, strong Canadian solar industry" and other provinces "continue to evaluate the potential for accelerating the deployment of solar PV in their energy mixes," it concludes. The province of Alberta is expected to report significant progress this year, and the industry has identified innovation in the solar electricity sector as "a key strategic opportunity for Canada."

The report comes after numerous analyses indicate that the share of renewable energy output in Canada is growing at a slower rate that the growth of conventional non-renewable energy consumption.

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