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Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy

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  • Joshua M. Pearce

    (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B9, Canada
    Ivey Business School, Western University, London, ON N6G 0N1, Canada)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua M. Pearce, 2022. "Agrivoltaics in Ontario Canada: Promise and Policy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(5), pages 1-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:14:y:2022:i:5:p:3037-:d:764485
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    Cited by:

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    3. Uzair Jamil & Abigail Bonnington & Joshua M. Pearce, 2023. "The Agrivoltaic Potential of Canada," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(4), pages 1-26, February.
    4. Nima Asgari & Matthew T. McDonald & Joshua M. Pearce, 2023. "Energy Modeling and Techno-Economic Feasibility Analysis of Greenhouses for Tomato Cultivation Utilizing the Waste Heat of Cryptocurrency Miners," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(3), pages 1-42, January.
    5. Icaro Yuri Pereira Dias & Lira Luz Benites Lazaro & Virginia Grace Barros, 2023. "Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus—Estimating Future Water Demand Scenarios Based on Nexus Thinking: The Watershed as a Territory," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(9), pages 1-21, April.
    6. Rittick Maity & Kumarasamy Sudhakar & Amir Abdul Razak & Alagar Karthick & Dan Barbulescu, 2023. "Agrivoltaic: A Strategic Assessment Using SWOT and TOWS Matrix," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(8), pages 1-18, April.
    7. Uzair Jamil & Joshua M. Pearce, 2022. "Energy Policy for Agrivoltaics in Alberta Canada," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, December.

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