There’s no shortage of sunlight in Manitoba in the summertime. It has the potential to give us abundant, clean energy while cutting dependence on non-renewable energy. The problem is harnessing this energy efficiently and economically.
Most solar electrical systems convert sunlight to direct current (DC) electricity using photovoltaic cells. The energy is stored by charging batteries. To power common appliances, DC must be converted to alternating current (AC) using an inverter.
Currently, Manitoba Hydro doesn’t consider solar electrical power to be cost-effective in Manitoba where grid-connected electricity is readily available. (1)
The key disadvantages of solar electrical systems are
- solar electrical power equipment is expensive compared to standard-grid electricity
- Manitoba’s highest energy requirements occur in winter when we have the least sunlight hours
Currently, Manitoba does not have programs to promote residential or commercial installations of solar energy. (2)