Utility-scale solar farms are cropping up across the world. But what does this growth mean for land-use in the countryside? New research, backed by leading UK conservation charities, suggests that far from being a threat to the countryside, solar farms may actually offer opportunities for supporting biodiversity while still obtaining an economic yield.
Here's how Solarcentury reported on the research:
Solar farms typically take up less than 5% of the land they are on so there is a huge opportunity to develop protected habitats to support local wildlife and plant life.
Siting solar parks on meadows can be a plus for the environment according to research carried out by Miles King Director of Conservation for the Grassland Trust. He found that meadows (unimproved grasslands) are very efficient at absorbing and storing carbon – grasslands lock up a fifth of all soil carbon in the UK. So each hectare of solar farm saves about 25 tonnes of carbon each year. In addition, meadows save a further three tonnes of carbon as it is captured and stored by grassland – this would not happen if the land was being intensively farmed or even if the grass being replaced is ‘improved’.
Via Joel Barker