Renewable energy development and its implications on local land-use systems: experiences from Ontario, Canada

Authors: Kirby Calvert*, University of Guelph
Topics: Energy, Land Use, Landscape
Keywords: renewable energy; land-use; energy transition management; land-use planning; landscape
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The transition toward a sustainable, low-carbon energy system implies a shift from ‘below-ground energy’ (fossil fuels) to ‘above-ground energy’ (renewables). In other words, a sustainable energy transition will drive, and be driven by, fundamental alterations to landscapes, landscape values, and the land-use planning systems through which dominant landscape values are institutionalized. The purpose of this presentation is to advance our understanding of this process. The presentation has three objectives. First, to conceptualize the relationship between energy transition, landscape values, and land-use systems. Second, to focus specifically on how land-use planning systems are structuring, and being re-structured by, the spatialities of renewable energy development. Third, to interpret the outcomes from (1) and (2) in the context of energy transition management. The empirical basis for the paper is the Canadian province of Ontario which has experienced the development of approximately 500 large, utility scale and locally land-intensive energy projects since 2010. The research summarizes spatial patterns of renewable energy development with emphasis on land-use impacts, and traces the (lack of?) integration across land-use planning and energy planning practices and systems since approximately 2010, with emphasis on the localization of energy planning activities.

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