While British Columbia has policies to discourage additions of solar power to the provincial power grid, Germany has been moving forward on this form of renewable electricity.
Note the geographic centre of Germany is at a latitude similar to that of Kamloops.
Germany Sets Yearly Solar Power Record
BERLIN, Oct. 27, 2020 /CNW/ — (GTAI) – German energy provider Eon says that since the beginning of the year solar energy facilities have fed some 43 billion kilowatt hours of electricity into the national grid. That’s already around one billion kilowatt hours more than in all of 2019 and enough to cover the electricity needs of all private households in Germany twofold…
Germany’s prestigious Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has also calculated that 2020 will be a record year for renewable energy in Germany. The institute says that from January through October renewables accounted for 52.5 percent of net public electricity production...Germany Sets Yearly Solar Power Record
BC Hydro began feasibility studies for Site C in 1971. Ten years later, the company applied for a water licence to build the $1.95 billion (equivalent to $5.2 billion in 2020) Site C power project on the Peace River.
Progress was once stopped because regulator BCUC determined that BC Hydro’s demand forecasts were unreliable. In 1993, BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen said:
Site C is dead for two reasons. The fiscal exposure is too great… the dam is too costly. Also, it is environmentally unacceptable.
The project seemed dead until 2010 when Gordon Campbell announced Site C would proceed, even though promised discussions with affected indigenous people had not taken place.
If BC Hydro is lucky, the most costly megaproject in the province’s history will generate power by 2026 and the final budget will be under $13 billion. Since the utility and the provincial government are hiding financial information, $13 billion is likely an overly optimistic estimate.
Site C: fifty-five years from initiation to potential completion. Compare to the timeline of a typical utility-scale solar farm and remember, the costs of solar and hydro electricity have been trending in opposite directions. Hydro up; solar down.
Check out capital cost estimates of Canada Energy Regulator (ex-NEB) for wind and solar power.
If Site C is brought in for $13 billion, its capital cost will be $11,800 per kilowatt of capacity. However, there is a risk that unstable land will result in zero production of electricity.
The National Energy Board released Canada’s Energy Future 2018 (EF2018) report in October 2018, which projects Canada’s energy supply and demand out to 2040.
New in EF2018 are projections of the capital costs of utility scale wind and solar projects. In EF2018’s Reference Case, wind’s capital cost declines to C$1,200/kW by 2040, while solar declines to C$1,100/kW. In EF2018’s Technology case, capital costs decline faster, with wind falling to C$1,000/kW and solar falling to C$650/kW.
Costs decline for several reasons, including improved manufacturing efficiency, economies of scale, and lower installation costs as industry learns from experience.
EF2018’s Technology Case simply assumes technology improves faster than the Reference Case, resulting in a larger decline by 2040.