Environmental Energies

Green is best for agriculture

Agricultural Solar Power – Despite recent negative comments about solar energy production on agricultural land it would appear that in terms of time scale, cost and green credentials it really is the best way ahead. The NFU support Agricultural Solar Power generation.

Despite Liz Truss (Secretary of State for the Environments) recent negative comments about solar energy production on agricultural land it would appear that in terms of time scale, cost and green credentials it really is the best way ahead. In order to provide 7% of our countries energy needs only 0.5% of our grazing land would need to be used and sheep would still be able to graze between and under the panels on the solar farms.

Unlike plans to build nuclear power stations like Hinckley C, where the current funding is dubious and build times can over run by as much as 10 years, 20GW of agricultural solar power could easily be constructed on farmland by 2020.

There are huge advantages to the agricultural solar power route as year on year between now and 2020 we would benefit in increases of power to the grid, whereas we would have no power from costly nuclear projects until builds were finished in 2023, if everything goes to plan!

The NFU fully support agricultural solar power, where it is carefully controlled and the affect on the rural landscape is minimised. That’s not surprising when you consider how much income and employment it will bring to rural communities. There are even some very important ecological benefits, for instance our bees love to nest underneath ground mounted solar panels! (As well as grazing sheep).

Regardless of the various political battles, most of us actually support solar energy. It doesn’t smell, it’s not noisy and  is great on rooftops and mounted on the ground. If local councils in consultation with communities and experts properly control the development of ground-mounted solar farms, agricultural solar power is the right way forward for all of us. It is important however, that lessons are learnt from the planning mistakes made by councils and government in relation to wind energy in the countryside.

Only 20,000 hectares of land would be needed to provide 14GW of the 20GW renewables target for 2020. If the land used were mainly restricted to pasture there would be no effect on our overall food production. The cost of agricultural solar power from our farms will be much lower than that from nuclear power stations and will be provided well before 2020.  If the land used were mainly restricted to pasture there would be no affect on our overall food production.

The cost of agricultural solar power from our farms will be much lower than that from nuclear power stations and will be provided well before 2020.

Interested in Agricultural Solar Power Generation? – To find out more contact http://www.environmentalenergies.co.uk>Environmental Energies, 01858 525 407 or View our http://www.environmentalenergies.co.uk/solar-for-farms>Solar for Farms and Rural Estates page.