The solar transition is well underway in the UK. Our sister site SolarLove has reported that solar energy generation surged by around 153% over the last year in the UK (2014–2015). So, without much ado, research about the effects of solar farms on biodiversity continues. The fertile news is that after a conclusive study of solar farms, the UK has found that the solar panels do apply well to enhancing biodiversity and wildlife abundance.
This study — The Effects Of Solar Farms On Local Biodiversity: A Comparative Study — from Clarkson & Woods and Wychwood Biodiversity extensively investigates how solar farms can lead to improved ecological diversity when compared with similar undeveloped sites.
The overarching finding of this study is that where solar farms implement management that is focused upon wildlife, an increase in biodiversity can be detected across a number of different species groups.
The UK’s Solar Trade Association mentions that the research found that “solar farms have a positive impact on biodiversity for a range of plant and animal species when combined with an appropriate land management plan, in particular, broad-left plants, grasses, butterflies, bumblebees, and birds.”
Following anecdotal information, the report validates a growing body of evidence “that solar farms can actively benefit local wildlife.” Confirming further biodiversity specialists’ beliefs, such as specialists at the BRE National Solar Centre Biodiversity Guidance for Solar Developments: “solar PV can be combined with agricultural activity such as grazing while benefitting the natural health of the surrounding area.”
Images are screenshots from the PDF