CanSIA - Ontario Solar Farms Quantitative Survey Results

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CanSIA - Ontario Solar Farms Quantitative Survey Results

CanSIAOntario Solar Farms

Quantitative Survey Results

July 22, 2009 - Release

1


Survey Summary and Methodology

This quantitative survey was held on behalf of CanSIA to

explore opinion on solar energy and support for solar

farms on agricultural land.

The project entails an online questionnaire with 600

respondents across Ontario from the general population.

The data is proportionate regionally, by gender and by age

groups.

The survey sought an additional 600 responses from 8

electoral districts in South West Ontario (around London)

and Eastern Ontario (around Cornwall/Belleville) that are

more rural and agricultural in nature.

The following slides present – where and as noted –

Ontario-wide results and results from the 8 rural ridings.

2


Survey Summary and Methodology

The margin of error on a sample of 600 is +/- 4% 19 times out of 20.

The eight rural Ontario electoral districts surveyed were: Chatham-

Kent-Essex; Elgin-Middlesex-London; Oxford; Lambton-Kent-

Middlesex; Dundas-S. Glengarry; Leeds-Grenville; Lanark-Frontenac-

Lennox-Addington; and Prince Edward Hastings.

The Ontario general population responses were collected between

June 30 and July 4, 2009. Rural riding responses were collected

between July 1 and July 9.

3


Key Findings





Ontarians support solar energy very strongly as well as government

support for solar initiatives

There is strong support for individual choice among farmers to

develop solar farms and most agree the province should allow solar

farms on some agricultural land

Arguments about how limited an amount of land is required and

that land is not damaged go a long way toward making respondents

even more supportive of solar farms

Most think it best for rural Ontario’s economy to allow solar panels

on agricultural land

4


Solar Support

Do you support (strongly or somewhat) or oppose (strongly or somewhat) the use of

solar power to generate electricity in Ontario? (Ontario wide)

65 32 11

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly support Som ewhat support Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose

Do you support (strongly or somewhat) or oppose (strongly or somewhat) the use of solar

power to generate electricity in Ontario? (Rural Ridings)

59 36 3 2

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly support Somewhat support Somewhat opposed Strongly opposed

5


Positives of Solar

“Based on what you know what would be a positive thing about the provincial government

encouraging more production of electricity from solar power rather than from other sources of

energy to generate electricity for Ontario?” (Ontario-wide - open end - % saying each)

Clean Energy/ Better for

environment

48

Low cost energy

23

Renewable

14

Less reliance on other

sources of energy

11

Gov. should subsidize

solar

Safe source of energy

5

6

DK

13

0 10 20 30 40 50

6


Negatives of Solar

“Based on what you know what would be a negative thing about the provincial government

encouraging more production of electricity from solar power rather than from other sources of

energy to generate electricity for Ontario?” (Ontario-wide - open end - % saying each)

Expensive

31

Don’t generate enough

power

7

Concern about weather

fluctuations/reliability

6

Would take up

space/usable land

4

DK

43

0 10 20 30 40 50

7


Energy Initiatives

There are different projects being looked at to increase the amount of renewable energy used to produce

electricity in Ontario. We would like to know whether you strongly support, somewhat support,

somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose having each of the following projects in the community you live in.

(% Strongly/Somewhat Support)

86

Generating electricity from

rivers/dams with

hydroelectric stations

86

78

Installing windmills on

some agricultural land to

generate electricity

82

Installing solar panels

instead of growing crops

on some areas of farmland

to generate electricity

62

68

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Ontario-wide

Rural ridings

8


The case for solar farms





In both the general population and in rural ridings, there is near

consensus agreement that it would be unfair if people in cities were

allowed to install solar panels but farmers were not

There is strong agreement that farmers should be allowed to use

some of their land to install solar panels to generate electricity

• Fewer (though still more than half of residents of rural ridings) agree

that farmers should be allowed to use all of their land for solar farming

A majority in rural ridings agree that the provincial government

should allow solar panels to be installed on some agricultural land

instead of crops to generate electricity

Respondents in rural ridings are somewhat more likely to agree

strongly with most of these points than the average Ontarian

9


Solar Support

We are going to present you with statements you might hear about solar energy. For each we’d like to know

if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree… “The provincial government

should allow solar panels to be installed on some agricultural land instead of crops to generate electricity.”

Ontario-wide

16 50 22 12

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly agree Som ewhat agree Som ewhat disagree Strongly disagree

Rural Ridings

19 48 22 11

0 20 40 60 80 100

10


Agree/Disagree

We are going to present you with statements you might hear about solar energy. For each we’d like to know

if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree. (Rural Ridings)

A farmer should be allowed if he/she chooses to use some of their land to

install solar panels to generate electricity

I would welcome a major investment in solar energy in my area

It would be unfair if people in cities were allowed to install solar panels

on their property but farmers were not permitted to do so on their

property

Farmers should be allowed to install solar panels instead of growing

crops on some of their land so they have another possible source of

income

If industrial land owners are allowed to install solar panels on their

land, then farmers should be allowed to do the same on their land

A farmer should be allowed if he/she chooses to use ALL of their land to

install solar panels to generate electricity

40 48 9 4

36 50 11 3

36 45 15 5

31 49 14 6

34 41 19 6

23 32 28 18

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree

11


Agree/Disagree

We are going to present you with statements you might hear about solar energy. For each we’d like to know

if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree. (Ontario wide)

A farmer should be allowed if he/she chooses to use some of their land to

install solar panels to generate electricity

35 51 10 4

I would welcome a major investment in solar energy in my area

34 53 10 3

It would be unfair if people in cities were allowed to install solar panels

on their property but farmers were not permitted to do so on their

property

Farmers should be allowed to install solar panels instead of growing

crops on some of their land so they have another possible source of

income

If industrial land owners are allowed to install solar panels on their land,

then farmers should be allowed to do the same on their land

A farmer should be allowed if he/she chooses to use ALL of their land to

install solar panels to generate electricity

33 46 15 7

23 56 17 5

27 47 18 8

19 35 27 20

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree

12


Solar Support

What do you think would be best for the economy of rural Ontario - allowing farmers to turn their land into solar

farms, or to keep all farm land for agricultural purposes? Do you feel that way strongly or just somewhat?

Rural Ridings

19 50 18 13

0 20 40 60 80 100

Strongly feel farmers should be allowed

Somewhat feel farmers should be allowed

Somewhat feel all farmland should be kept for agriculture

Strongly feel all land should be kept for agricultural purposes

Ontario Wide

18 48 22 12

0 20 40 60 80 100

13


Limits on Solar

Most Ontarians support a limit or prohibition on solar development

from taking place on most agricultural land

But the amount of farmland that on average Ontarians would allocate

to solar panels is 250 times what the solar industry is requesting

We specifically asked respondents to tell us what percentage of

Ontario’s farmland should be allowed for use as solar farms

• On average they told us just over one quarter of agricultural land could be

allowed for solar developments

• The solar industry needs only about one tenth of one percent of Ontario

farmland to reach its full potential as an option for renewable energy in

Ontario

14


Solar Farms

Please fill out this sentence: If solar power generation expands in Ontario, with solar panels over land

or buildings to capture solar energy, I think solar panel installations should be limited to take up no

more than a maximum of % of Ontario’s farmland. (Ontario-wide)

29

0 20 40 60 80 100

Please fill out this sentence: If solar power generation expands in Ontario, with solar panels over land

or buildings to capture solar energy, I think solar panel installations should be limited to take up no

more than a maximum of % of Ontario’s farmland. (Rural Ridings)

27

0 20 40 60 80 100

15

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