Solar Parks take Centre Stage in New Films

Examples of solar parks in rural England

Two new films commissioned by the Solar Trade Association (STA) and several solar park developers including Solarcentury aired at Solar Energy UK last week that showcase the benefits of solar farms and bust popular myths about solar farms.

The first film, Solar Farms: The Right Time, explores the need for solar farms from an environmental perspective and the case for solar as part of the UK’s renewable energy mix.

Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Advisor – Renewable Energy and Climate Change for the NFU, explains how solar is an efficient use of land for energy production. Specifically, the land required to achieve the government’s 10GW target for solar amounts to 25,000ha and taking this land out of use “is scarcely a threat to food production.”

The film explains how solar can provide the UK with cheap, affordable energy in a way that doesn’t industrialise the countryside. In fact, when developed in line with best practice as laid out in the STA 10 commitments launched in the summer, solar has a positive role to play in supporting the rural countryside and economy.

The second film, Solar Farms: The Right Place examines how ground-mounted solar installations can, in many cases, work alongside farming practices and boost biodiversity.

Seb Berry, Head of Public Affairs at Solarcentury commented, “Our experience suggests that properly sited, sensitively developed solar parks, developed in line with the STA 10 commitments are invariably welcomed by local communities for all of the reasons set out in the STA films. At our recent community event for a possible development in David Cameron’s constituency there were zero objections. That response is typical for our projects at pre-planning consultation phase and for those of other responsible STA member developers. On the rare occasion where a solar park is inappropriately sited, such as in the Kent Downs, close to the AONB, we listened to local concerns and quite rightly took the decision not to proceed with the project. The films provide a useful introduction to the many issues surrounding solar park development and we hope that they will help to explode some of the myths surrounding their impact.”

Leonie Green, Head of External Affairs at the STA said, “We have a big education job to show that best practice in solar farms can bring active benefits to the British countryside, including supporting biodiversity. Solar is a relatively new technology in the British landscape and understandably there are legitimate concerns, as well as a range of myths and preconceptions.”

Source: Solarcentury

For more information on: Solarcentury