Harnessing the sun on Ontario’s Prime Agricultural Land

The Ontario Government has established the Green Energy Act and part of that would involve the addition of solar panel farms in order to use renewable energy on the public electricity grid.  The Ontario government has the opportunity to invest $5 billion into a solar panel projects on some of Ontario’s best farmland.  This would also create jobs for approximately 10,000 people.

The most recent news is that the Ontario government might ban the development of solar farms on Ontario’s best agricultural land.  Although there has been no comment from Energy Minister George Smitherman, the regulations will be released as part of the Green Energy Act.  Ontario’s best farmland is considered close to main transmission lines, and of course receives some of the best sunlight which is good for farming and for solar energy production.   The argument is that it would be taking away from some of the most productive farmland, but studies have shown that the possible 81 square kilometres available are not all currently being used for farming, and some are being used to grow corn for ethanol purposes.

In my opinion this would be a positive step towards green energy and the future of Ontario.  As previously mentioned, the development and construction of solar farms would create 10,000 long-term jobs and some of those jobs may even become permanent if workers can be trained to install solar panels in residential settings.  I also believe that the construction of solar farms will spread the knowledge about renewable, alternative energy and there will be more positive discussion around the development of more solar driven initiatives.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/09/22/ontario-solar-panels232.html

A photo of solar shingles that have more aesthetic value than traditional solar panels.
Solar shingles that have more aesthetic value than traditional solar panels.

In addition to my original post from earlier in the week, here is a photo of solar shingles that, according to a story from ther Ontario Farmer, are gaining more approval because they are more aesthetically pleasing.

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