Some forecasts suggest Alberta will exceed its goal of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, much of which is wind or solar. New projects like the solar farm in Edmonton’s river valley are contributing to the surge. (Photo: Amber Bracken / The Narwhal)
  • Abundant solar irradiation and decreasing costs of solar technology make Alberta an attractive destination for solar PV installations, offering a lucrative business opportunity.
  • Solar panel installation in Alberta presents financial benefits such as long-term energy savings, revenue generation through net metering, and access to government incentives and support programs.
  • Embracing solar PV not only aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions but also positions Alberta as a leader in sustainable energy production, contributing to economic diversification and job creation.

Alberta, known for its vast landscapes and abundant natural resources, has long been associated with the oil and gas industry.

However, in recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the immense solar photovoltaic (PV) potential that lies untapped within this Canadian province. With its vast open spaces and ample sunlight, Alberta is primed to harness solar energy and transform its energy landscape. Not only does solar panel installation make environmental sense, but it also presents a compelling business opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors.

One of the key factors that make Alberta an attractive destination for solar PV is its abundant solar irradiation. The province enjoys an average of more than 2,300 hours of sunshine annually, providing a significant opportunity for solar power generation. This favorable climate, combined with technological advancements in solar panels and decreasing costs, makes solar PV a viable and competitive option for energy production.

Moreover, Alberta’s energy sector has traditionally relied heavily on non-renewable sources, particularly coal and natural gas. As the world transitions towards cleaner energy alternatives to combat climate change, Alberta finds itself at a crossroads. Embracing solar PV not only aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions but also positions the province as a leader in sustainable energy production.

From a business perspective, solar panel installation in Alberta presents several compelling advantages.

Firstly, the cost of solar panels has witnessed a significant decline in recent years, making them more affordable and accessible. The decreasing cost of solar technology, coupled with various government incentives and support programs, such as grants and tax incentives, creates a favorable investment environment.

Additionally, solar PV installations offer long-term financial benefits. Once installed, solar panels require minimal operational and maintenance costs compared to conventional energy sources. This translates into reduced energy expenses and long-term energy savings for businesses and homeowners. Furthermore, through net metering programs, excess electricity generated by solar PV systems can be sold back to the grid, providing an additional revenue stream.

In Alberta, where agriculture and oil and gas industries have traditionally dominated the economy, solar PV installations offer diversification opportunities. By embracing solar energy, businesses can tap into a new and rapidly growing sector, contributing to job creation and economic growth. The installation, operation, and maintenance of solar PV systems require skilled labor, providing employment opportunities for local communities.

Moreover, investing in solar PV installations can enhance the reputation and brand image of businesses. With increasing consumer demand for environmentally conscious practices, showcasing a commitment to clean energy can attract environmentally conscious customers and investors. It also demonstrates corporate social responsibility, aligning with sustainable development goals and enhancing stakeholder relations.

The potential benefits of solar PV in Alberta are not limited to commercial ventures alone. Residential properties can also harness solar energy to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. Homeowners can take advantage of government incentives, such as rebates and tax credits, to offset installation costs.

Furthermore, solar PV systems can increase the resale value of properties, making them more attractive to potential buyers.

While the solar photovoltaic potential in Alberta is undeniable, there are challenges that need to be addressed. The intermittency of sunlight and the need for efficient energy storage solutions require further technological advancements. However, with rapid progress in battery technology and grid integration, these challenges are becoming increasingly surmountable.

Alberta’s solar photovoltaic potential presents a compelling business opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors.

The province’s abundant sunlight, declining costs of solar technology, government support, and the potential for economic diversification make solar panel installation a viable and lucrative option.

Embracing solar PV not only contributes to environmental sustainability but also positions Alberta as a leader in the clean energy transition. As the world continues to prioritize renewable energy sources, businesses and individuals in Alberta have the chance to capitalize on the sun’s power and secure a brighter, more sustainable future.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

EIA Report says solar and wind produced more electricity than coal in Q1 2023 and nearly tied nuclear power in March

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