Fringe Box



Letter: Another Solution: Solar Panels On ‘Water Intensive, Biodiversity Wasteland’ Golf Courses

Published on: 15 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 15 Oct, 2022

From Mark Stamp

Whilst I agree that the roofs of especially industrial buildings should be used for solar panels, this is often not possible on existing buildings.

Also, any project is much more complex due to multiple owners needing to agree to get the same area as a solar farm.

Solar farm library picture.

Planning regulations need to be changed so that solar is mandated on all new industrial buildings and restrictions removed but speed is of the essence if we are to prevent the worst predictions of climate change.

The current regulations prevent solar farms in the most productive land, up to category 3A. The government’s proposal is to extend this to include 3B which is defined as able to produce moderate amounts of a narrow range of crops.

Many studies, including those produced by the government show that these changes will have a negligible impact on food security.

Much agricultural land in the UK has relatively poor soil due to industrial farming practices of the last 50 years. One way of improving soil health is to leave it fallow for some time. Due to the minimal amount of infrastructure a solar farm requires, land can easily be returned to agriculture at the end of the solar farm’s life at which point it will be more productive.

One other point often neglected is the massive biodiversity gain that a solar farm can add to an area helping sustain native species which have been decimated by industrial farming.

Solar farms will only ever use a small fraction of green land. If we want to discuss effective land use then let’s start with the water intensive, biodiversity wastelands that are the golf courses that cover Surrey to enable a dwindling number of wealthy people to spoil a good walk.

There are many possible solutions to the energy and climate crises, the answer is to use everything available.

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