Do photovoltaic panels convert 100% of the sun's energy into electricity?
No they do not. In fact, the most efficient PV panels convert only about 20% of the solar energy they collect into usable AC electricity. That may not seem like a lot, but it is enough to generate more than 300 watts of electricity per 20-square-foot panel.
Solar panels actually work better in colder climates; they are the most effective in the winter time when there is snow on the ground and the temperatures are lower.
Ontario's Solar FIT Program
The average solar collector is a 10KW Solar P.V. System that costs between $60,000 and 80,000 installed. The Ontario Government pays the owner of the system a higher price for the power produced than what you are paying for the same electricity from Ontario Hydro. Most people look at installing a solar system as an investment; the return on your investment comes over the 20 year Government of Ontario contract that you sign to feed the electricity grid.
This year the Government approved only 50,000 KW of systems for the Fit program. I believe that amount has already been allocated at the time of writing this article.
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