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News » London Solar News » August 2010

August 2010

Volume I, Issue 2

In this issue

- Welcome

- microFIT

- Carbon market

- Social networking

Welcome to the second edition of London Solar News, brought to you by SunTap Technologies. It may be the middle of August, but there is plenty of time left in the year to think about installing solar - up until the snow flies! For pool heating, even installing in early September will still gain you an extra month of swimming, plus you'll be ready for next spring when opening the pool.

In this issue, we explain the changes to the microFIT rates and explore the concept of a "carbon market".

Thanks for reading, and feel free to shoot us an e-mail with any comments or questions to If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to your friends!


Tim and Mike


The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced on Friday, August 13 that the new microFIT (Feed-In Tariff) rate for ground-mounted solar electricity systems is 64.2 ¢/kWh (kilowatt-hour). The rate of 80.2 ¢/kWh remains for roof-mounted systems. As long as you have submitted your request to the OPA, they will honour the rate before the next review. If you're thinking about solar electricity, now is the time to submit to the OPA.

Here's how the microFIT program works: The Ontario government will pay you 80.2¢/kWh over a 20-year contract for electricity provided to the grid by using solar power, for systems up to 10 kW (kilowatt). At the smaller end of the scale, a system rated at 2 kW can produce about 2.5 MWh of energy a year, putting roughly $2000 into your bank account each and every year for 20 years. It's a guaranteed investment with a high return, and you're also being green by reducing the province's dependence on coal, oil, and nuclear fuels.

Read the OPA's news release here:

Carbon market

This is part one of a series exploring the carbon market. Watch for part two in our next newsletter.

What are carbon credits?

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol, a voluntary treaty, was signed by 141 countries to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) or carbon credits are certificates issues certifying a reduction in emissions.

Projects such as renewable energy generation or energy efficiency technologies may result in reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which in turn may allow for the project developer to obtain carbon credits when certain requirements are met. Some examples of projects that reduce CO2 emissions are:

  • Renewable energy technologies in buildings such as solar photovolatics (PV) and solar water heaters
  • Energy efficiency projects such as insulation
  • Energy efficient appliances and lighting

This opportunity has opened up a new source of cash flow in project financing. Ideally carbon credits can be viewed as a means of empowering the market to care for the environment.

How does emission trading and the carbon market work?

There are two different carbon trading markets, one that is a mandatory market and one that is a voluntary market. Only in Europe are large companies in specific sectors mandated by law to buy carbon offset credits if they exceed legal pollution limits. Voluntary carbon offset trading comes from a variety of sources – people trying to offset their carbon footprints, businesses seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, or major events trying to be carbon neutral, such as the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and so on.

The global carbon market was valued at $40.4 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $3.1 trillion by 2020. The voluntary carbon market was valued at $705 million in 2008, up from $331 million in 2007 and is growing at a tremendous rate.

This article is courtesy of Kevin Tse.

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