Solar Gold Rush?

Crashing prices for solar PV panels create the prospect for a solar PV gold rush when Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) opens for applications from developers October 1st.

Some reports indicate that the price of PV systems has crashed by 32%-42% so far this year. (ref:

Factors contributing to the fall in prices include burgeoning Chinese solar panel production boosted by stimulus spending by the Chinese government and political concerns in Spain and Germany about over-subsidization for solar power development. Stock prices for companies such as Q-Cells, Solar World AG, and Gamesa have been particularly hard hit over the last year. The stock price for the Ontario-based solar company Arise Technologies was caught up in the global renewable equities downturn, but has seen some recovery so far this month, particularly in recent days. Arise appears to be one of the beneficiaries of the protectionism measures built into the Green Energy Act.

When the Ontario Power Authority set the FIT prices that solar producers will get paid, it used data primarily from 2008 and early 2009. Here are the Ontario FIT prices (the current Ontario residential power price for the commodity portion of the bill is approximately $62/MWh):



Price ($/MWh)

Rooftop or Ground Mounted PV

≤10 KW


Ground Mounted PV

≤10 MW


Rooftop PV

≤250 KW


Rooftop PV

>250 KW ≤500 KW


Rooftop PV

>500 KW



  1. Tom — what do you think about the ENMAX – Alberta feud. I love the fact that Holden is fighting for transparency, public hearings and against old utility model.


  2. Didn’t Jon Kieran, head of the new Arnprior solar project, work for the Ontario Ministry of Energy? Now he is with EDF EN and they get one hundred million dollars funding from Ontario taxpayers, according to an article in the Ottawa Citizen.

  3. Pingback: Update on Solar Gold Rush «

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