Solar installations on Alberta homes earn income from carbon credits​

Written by Ernest Yap
Roof solar installation on home

The average homeowner in Alberta does not realize that a solar installation can earn extra income from carbon credits. This is no surprise: income from carbon credits from solar generation were not designed for you.

Carbon credits were designed by the Alberta government to incentivize the development of large, utility-scale clean energy projects such as the massive solar and wind farms in Southern AlbertaFor a homeowner, the auditing costs to verify carbon credits are higher than your earnings: it wouldn’t make sense to do this alone.

Yet small solar generators are earning revenue from carbon credit sales. 

Solar aggregators (such as Rewatt Power) aggregate hundreds of small generators into a “collective power plant” to generate carbon credits from energy generation. With this large pool, aggregators sell the collective’s credits to regulated buyers at the highest price. As a result, homeowners share costs, take advantage of volume power, and earn revenue you couldn’t earn before.

Here’s what you could earn from your solar installation in Alberta.

Revenue estimates for home solar installation in Alberta​

As a homeowner, you could earn up to $4,548 from carbon credits over 10 years for a 10kW solar array.

Note: If you have a smaller or larger system, Rewatt publishes its revenue estimates and fees.

A 10kW system is roughly 600 square feet of solar panels, which fits on the roof a suburban Canadian home. This generates about 12MWh of energy in Alberta.

In addition to credits, you should consider earning even more income by selling excess energy back to grid during the summer.

Here is the estimated earnings breakdown by year from carbon credits:

Year Generation per Year (MWh) Credits Conservative Case Aggressive Case
2023 12.00 6 $234 $248
2024 11.760 6 $279 $342
2025 11.525 6 $324 $396
2026 11.294 5 $308 $375
2027 11.068 5 $338 $420
2028 10.847 5 $338 $465
2029 10.630 5 $338 $510
2030 10.418 5 $338 $555
2031 10.209 5 $338 $600
2032 10.005 5 $338 $638
TOTAL   53 $3,170.00 $4,548.00

The estimate above already account for Rewatt’s transaction fee of 25% per credit sale. There are no other fees. We assume your solar productivity decreases 2% per year.

The difference between the conservative and aggressive case​

The conservative case is based on carbon credit prices using historical trends. Rewatt believes that an Alberta solar carbon credit will be sold at prices 35% lower than the Canadian carbon price. We assume prices will hit a ceiling at $90 per credit by 2027 because buyers don’t want to pay above that price.

The aggressive case is based on selling Alberta solar credits at prices 20% lower than the Canadian carbon price. There is no ceiling on the price of credit until $170 per credit.

Frankly, we will be adjusting the expected and aggressive cases year by year. For example, the 2022 carbon price was $50/tonne of CO2e, but we’ve been selling credits for $43/tonne of CO2e. That’s even better than lat year’s aggressive price of

Why earnings increase every year until 2030​

Rewatt predicts that the selling prices of Alberta carbon credits will mirror the increases of the regulated Canadian carbon price. In 2022, the Canadian price is set at $50/tonne of CO2e, and it is mandated to increase $15/tonne every year until it reaches $170/tonne by 2030.

The carbon credit price is dictated by buyer demand, which is why it is variable year by year. Alternatively, the price of Alberta carbon credits could hit a low too. However, for the residential homeowner, this is a matter of earning more or earning less from Alberta solar carbon credits: there is no risk of losing money.


Does this income program look right for you?