CanREA releases new study on Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities

Reducing soft costs will have a significant impact on improving the affordability and accessibility of solar PV in Nova Scotia

Halifax, November 5, 2021— The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is proud to release the new Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities study, pinpointing ways to improve the affordability and accessibility of solar PV across the province.

“The Solar Friendly Communities study found that there are significant soft costs and red tape associated with installing a residential solar PV system in Nova Scotia,” said Nicholas Gall, Director of Distributed Energy Resources at CanREA,and that reducing these barriers could help increase solar PV uptake and create more jobs in the solar sector.”

CanREA commissioned HES PV, a leading Canadian solar PV system consultant, designer and equipment supplier, to undertake the Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities project. It encompassed detailed surveys and interviews with solar installers from across Nova Scotia, as well as cost analysis, cost-reduction modelling for various scenarios, and identification of best practices.

The results indicate that solar hardware represents only 55% of the total cost in Nova Scotia, while the soft costs (related to business processes and administration around permits, inspections and financing) account for the remaining 45% of the costs for consumers.

Based on the results of this study, CanREA recommends the following actions to reduce the cost and red tape associated with installing a residential solar PV system in Nova Scotia:

  • Reduce the cost and barriers to building and electrical permits and grid interconnection related to solar installations;
  • Improve solar financing programs through lower interest rates and longer payback periods;
  • Improve solar education and awareness among homeowners and municipal staff (to reduce the time and effort required by installers to explain solar PV technology and net metering);
  • Identify municipal solar PV strategies through planning, zoning, land-use policies and public education.

The Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities study was funded from a grant by the Government of Nova Scotia’s Low-Carbon Communities initiative, a program aimed at supporting community-led, innovative solutions to create long-lasting greenhouse gas reductions in the areas of building efficiency, clean electricity and clean transportation.

Quotes

“The Solar-Friendly Communities study found that there are significant soft costs and red tape associated with installing a residential solar PV system in Nova Scotia, and that reducing these barriers could help increase solar PV uptake and create more jobs in the solar sector.”

—Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources

Images

Infographic: The Solar Process
(Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities study, CanREA and HES PV, September 2021)

Figure 1. Hard costs versus soft costs of residential solar in NS
(Nova Scotia Solar-Friendly Communities study, CanREA and HES PV, September 2021)

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-875-2483
[email protected]

About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our vision is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here.