Bromsgrove Climate Action answer FAQ's on solar farms - The Bromsgrove Standard

Bromsgrove Climate Action answer FAQ's on solar farms

Bromsgrove Editorial 6th Jan, 2024   0

AS THE UK steps up its efforts to combat climate change and lessen its reliance on unpredictable fossil fuel prices, as a nation we’re seeing a huge push towards green energy.

With Bromsgrove potentially playing a part in this transition with its own solar farm, Bromsgrove Climate Action Group this month looks into common questions centred around solar installations.

Q: Will solar farms end up taking up too much land away from agriculture?

A: The UK only needs to set aside a tiny 0.2 per cent of its total land area, if it wants to meet the UK government’s energy security strategy launched in April last year.

This new strategy aims to amplify solar capacity by up to five times by 2035. This works out as an additional 38GW being added to the grid which would actually meet all the energy the UK grid requires at the time of writing this article.

To give this 0.2 per cent value even more perspective, the UK currently uses 0.4 per cent of its land area just for golf courses.

It is also very possible for solar energy and agriculture to work hand in hand. This is known as ‘agrivoltaics’ or ‘agrisolar’ which is a model where land serves both energy and food production simultaneously.

Japan, which started its first agrivoltaic systems in 2004, is now a world leader on this farming system with nearly 2,000 agrivoltaic installations, containing more than 120 diverse crops flourishing around the solar panels.

Q: Will solar farms, once installed, create ecological dead zones?

A: When managed correctly, solar farms can significantly enhance biodiversity as they effectively function as nature reserves throughout their lifespan due to the minimal human interaction and promotion of new animal and wildflower habitat these projects undertake.

Q: Will a solar farm just make the mounting problem of e-waste much worse?

A: June last year marked great news on this front with the opening in France of the world’s first factory devoted entirely to solar panel recycling.

Located in the Alpine city of Grenoble, the facility, owned by specialist solar recycling company ROSI, aims to eventually reclaim and repurpose 99 per cent of a solar panel’s components. These reclaimed materials can then be reintegrated to produce newer, more efficient solar panels greatly reducing the need to directly mine new resources.

With the low land use, clean energy, enhanced ‘agrivoltaics’ biodiversity and a bright recycling future we hope you agree that solar farms are a win win for the local community and nature.

Bromsgrove Climate Action Group would like to wish everyone a happy new year.

Anyone with further questions can email bromsgroveclimate [email protected] to have them answered and to find out more about BCA.

* This Eco Action column is provided by Bromsgrove Climate Action.

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