Sorry, the offer just expired…. In fact, to be honest, there was none :-). It was just a simple idea: what if the the kind government would fully subsidize the installation of my 3kW roof solar system, so I would get it basically for free? The condition would probably be to keep the panels on the roof for 20 years, and to sell all the electricity back to the grid for the current 12c/kWh rate.
The only things I would pay would be the ongoing insurance and meter fee. Are you curious about the result? $1772 in after-tax profit after the first inverter change, in year 12! This means $148/year! It’s still money, but would you let someone drill holes into your roof for this amount?
Now we have a sobering perspective of the solar panels technology today. They are not sustainable by themselves at such a low scale. And, unexpectedly, that’s NOT because they’re too expensive. Mass production or technological advances might eventually lower the price. Unfortunately, the real enemy is a lot harder to defeat: it’s the methods of generating cheaper electricity.
So the main culprit is the low “density” of the solar power. In a normal year, my 3kW solar panels can generate:
3kW x 1200 kWh/kW = 3600 kWh
Compare this with our yearly electricity usage of around 4200 kWh, and you can see that we cannot generate enough solar electricity for ourselves. And we are far from being the average Ontario household, which uses 1000 kWh/month!