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Solar Farms Boost Biodiversity

Posted on Dec. 4, 2019 by Sanghamitra Sinha Chowdhury

Do you know what biodiversity is? Our biosphere with all its organisms combined, resembles to that of only a part in ten billion of the earth’s mass. The diversification of life on earth is indeed immense and wondrous! Although it is not contained within the biodiversity, the solar energy/ solar radiation or insolation is held as a very significant, determining factor. Very little research has been carried out till date apropos the impacts of solar farms on biodiversity, despite the proliferation of this sector worldwide. We know that solar happens to be a stabile slackener of global warming, eliminating huge tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Solar energy also shows a profound potential in utilizing giant, abandoned chunks of land like brownfields, forlorn mining lands, and existing transportation and transmission corridors.

Now according to latest findings, solar farms do impose a positive impact on the biodiversity. It affects a variety of plant and animal species for a good reason, when combined with an appropriate land management plan. It bears out to be true for all major United States and international solar installations, that solar energy is the most prominent source of clean and renewable energy without the need for mining for fuel. There has been proven anecdotal evidence on matters relating to solar firms being actively beneficial to the local wildlife. The new study states solar farms to be really effectual for a number of species like broad-leaved plants, grasses, butterflies, bumblebees, birds, etc. Solar farms can be developed in such a way permitting grazing while the local meadows and crop lands can still leverage from it.

“By becoming net producers of pollinating insects, which are in decline across the UK, solar farms can promote the health of surrounding crops such as cereals, vegetables, soft fruits and orchard fruits,” Solar Trade Association (STA) observed.

Experts believe that solar firms can enhance the ecological value of the land and encourage land diversification. It further validates advice stated by the biodiversity specialists, likeably, RE National Solar Centre Biodiversity Guidance for Solar Developments which demonstrates that solar PV can be mixed with agricultural activity like grazing which in turn actually benefits the natural health of the surrounding area. This is how solar farms have been providing a significant support as foraging grounds and shelter for many species.

Leonie Greene, spokesperson for the STA commented: “We’re delighted with the findings of this survey. It confirms that solar farms, when done properly, are an asset to our countryside and our natural environment.”

A lot of conjectures have been passed off, based on the view that solar imposes many ecological threats. Despite that, seemingly an evolution in the rate of solar installation has been witnessed in the past decade. The forecast of 2019 reports of having 137.5 GW of new global solar installations. Earlier in 2018, utility-scale systems dominated the global solar market with around 72.7 GW of installation. Kudos to the multiple government solar tax credits, aids and incentives meted out to the residential, commercial and utility-scale installers.

Imposing several other benefits on the environment like – refraining arid wildfires, increasing grasses for animals for up to 90% to increasing the value of your home to reduce your electricity bills. However, USSE can affect ecosystems in multiple ways throughout its lifecycle (i.e. construction–operation–decommission). Climate change has widely reported negative consequences, and innovations in renewable energy technologies are central to achieving the Paris climate treaty goals to mitigate these effects. Solar farms exposes out a kind of uniqueness in the farmed landscape, where they provide a high value ‘crop’ (solar power), leaving majority of the land area free for wildlife management, however the contenders calls for more research in this area.

With the growth of the solar industry, there is a need to:

1. Minimize impacts on biodiversity through the development of lucrative projects

2. Improve biodiversity by changing the use of the land (e.g. agriculturally used or Sealed land and conversion land involving decontamination).


“Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,”- Prof David Macdonald, Oxford University. Besides the production of clean energy, solar parks also contribute to the promotion of the biodiversity.

This generation calls for a change in your mindset, a change in your actions. Solar energy utilization has been an increasingly hot topic worldwide. A bigger number of people today are installing and leveraging from this powerful source of abundant renewable energy on earth. We, as the responsible earthlings shall encourage environment – preservation, given the incredible benefits of solar energy that we get to experience. Our main purpose behind this blog is to educate our audience apropos the innumerous benefits of solar energy. There is a significant need for deployment of renewable energy in our environment, and by all evidences, no other source stands as easily available and lucrative like solar. Solar farms help in strengthening the local biodiversity and also the important sectors of ecosystem services in terms of agriculture. All the recent survey reports and examinations have highlighted the relative advantages in terms of biodiversity.

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