Being involved in the solar industry really gives you an appreciation of the benefits that renewable energy can offer to many different walks of life, be it residential solar, commercial solar, agricultural solar and plenty more. I can imagine someone less aware of the industry can shrug off the potential benefits as the initial cost of installing a photovoltaic (P.V) system could be off putting, but then I hear about our own governments’ environmental secretary Liz Truss, who looks to be on a crusade against solar, specifically solar panels used by farmers.
Liz Truss’ stance is that solar panels are an “ugly” and that they are a “blight on the countryside and villages”. This seems absolutely illogical to me personally but taking personal opinion out of it, the official reasons for the environmental secretary to be so anti large-scale solar is to do with the U.K’s food production, and how solar panels are harming it. This would of course be a serious problem were it to be proven true, studies have been undertaken in an effort to determine the truth.
The results are in and thanks to the freedom of information (FOI) act we are able to get more than the usual government spiel, the fact is there is no evidence of an impact from solar farms to our agricultural output, and that suggesting solar panels are harmful to food production is unfounded. Despite this, the government have gone ahead and removed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidy payments which were providing something of a lifeline for the declining profit farmers suffer year after year.
It is well documented that both large-scale solar farms and grazing of small livestock are able to coexist without detriment, unfortunately it is clear that our own government in charge of such matters do not agree, and strike a blow against the solar industry.