A new best practice guide to solar farm development promotes the use of solar on lower-quality agricultural land in a bid to prevent solar farms displacing food production.
The ’10 Commitments’ developed by the Solar Trade Association provide guidance for solar farm developers, including a stipulation that schemes will only be installed on non-agricultural or lower-quality agricultural land.
In addition, developers will be encouraged to develop land management plans for solar farms that include continued agricultural use – sheep grazing for example – or biodiversity projects.
“Farmers are well placed to capture renewable natural energy flows, while maintaining our traditional role of providing food, together with other environmental and land management services,” said NFU chief renewables adviser Dr Jonathan Scurlock.
“Growers and food processors have a long history of harnessing the power of the sun, and solar electricity clearly has a major role to play in modern agriculture. The NFU is delighted that leading solar developers have signed up to such a strong charter of good practice to deliver multiple benefits from the development of solar farms.”