Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy

Version 1 : Received: 26 December 2021 / Approved: 27 December 2021 / Online: 27 December 2021 (13:52:09 CET)

How to cite: Pearce, J.M. Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy. Preprints 2021, 2021120430 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0430.v1). Pearce, J.M. Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy. Preprints 2021, 2021120430 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0430.v1).

Abstract

Well-intentioned regulations to protect Canada’s most productive farmland restrict large-scale so-lar 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, 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 in general, and Ontario in particular, is at a strategic disadvantage in agricultural 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 analyzed for agrivoltaic potential in Ontario. These results are analyzed 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.

Keywords

agriculture; agrivoltaic; Greater Golden Horseshoe; Canada; energy policy; farming; Ontario; photovoltaic; solar energy

Subject

ENGINEERING, Energy & Fuel Technology

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