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FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgSource data
Type Paper
Year 2022
Location Ontario
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Pearce, J.M. Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy. Sustainability 2022, 14, 3037. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053037 academia, preprint

Well-intentioned regulations to protect Canada's most productive farmland restrict large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) development. The recent innovation of agrivoltaics, which is the co-development of land for both PV and agriculture, makes these regulations obsolete. Burgeoning agrivoltaics research has shown agricultural benefits, including increased yield for a wide range of crops, plant protection from excess solar energy and hail, and improved water conservation, while maintaining agricultural employment and local food supplies. In addition, the renewable electricity generation decreases greenhouse gas emissions while increasing farm revenue. As Canada, and Ontario in particular, is at a strategic disadvantage in agriculture without agrivoltaics, this study investigates the policy changes necessary to capitalize on the benefits of using agrivoltaics in Ontario. Land-use policies in Ontario are reviewed. Then, three case studies (peppers, sweet corn, and winter wheat) are analysed for agrivoltaic potential in Ontario. These results are analysed in conjunction with potential policies that would continue to protect the green-belt of the Golden Horseshoe, while enabling agrivoltaics in Ontario. Four agrivoltaic policy areas are discussed: increased research and development, enhanced education/public awareness, mechanisms to support Canada's farmers converting to agrivoltaics, and using agrivoltaics as a potential source of trade surplus with the U.S.

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Services provided by agrivoltaics are denoted by the icons (a) renewable electricity generation, (b) decreased greenhouse gas emissions, (c) increased crop yield, (d) plant protection from excess solar energy, (e) plant protection from inclement weather, such as hail, (f) water conservation, (g) agricultural employment, (h) local food, and (i) increased revenue.

See also[edit | edit source]

Services provided by agrivoltaics are: renewable electricity generation, decreased green-house gas emissions, reduced climate change, increased crop yield, plant protection from excess solar energy, plant protection from inclement weather such as hail, water conservation, agricultural employment, local food, improved health from pollution reduction increased revenue for farmers, a hedge against inflation, the potential to produce nitrogen fertilizer on farm, on farm production of renewable fuels such as anhydrous ammonia or hydrogen, and electricity for EV charging for on- or off-farm use.
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