Does the solar panel gold rush really threaten to ruin our countryside? | Act on solar power portal
28th November 2010
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Does the solar panel gold rush really threaten to ruin our countryside?

Farmland solar installations will be cropping up all over the country

A response to the grumbling naysayers’ weekend whinge

There is a certain known fact about human beings, and that is that they often find it difficult to cope with change. But what if that change is for good?

Since the introduction of solar power in the UK, many have fought tooth and nail against it, without any concrete evidence to support their negativity. There has been a lot of recent whining in the mainstream press about solar on farmland ‘ruining our countryside’ and ‘wasting taxpayers’ money’ when the facts have undoubtedly not been analysed. Clearly there is a case for solar power on farmland in the UK and it is my intention to set this straight once and for all.

When it’s raining, it’s raining

One of the most common complaints against the installation of solar panels on farmland is the weather. And oh, how very ironic it is that there are still those out there who dedicate their time to moaning about something they don’t fully understand. For all of you out there who don’t know, it needs to be stressed: solar photovoltaic power works by using light, and not even necessarily sunlight.

Now while I don’t necessarily agree with every decision the UK Government has made,  I do know that they’re not ignorant enough to organise a subsidy payment for a technology which has no hope in this country. Groundwork was done and feasibility studies were carried out to prove that solar was indeed a good idea. To show that they were right, take a look at the recent install figures.

The most successful solar market in the world is located in Germany – that’s right, not Spain, the U.S. or even the Sahara. As we all know, by and large, the weather in Germany is very similar to that in the UK. Germany managed to climb its way to the top spot by introducing a generous enough subsidy and keeping an eye on the possibility of a boom situation. This is why the country has recently cut its feed-in tariff, as the install figures were climbing high (even in a cloudy climate) and solar prices were coming down. This is far from one newspaper’s assumption that this “foolish scheme” has “already been scaled down or abandoned in several other European countries” due to its failure.

Encouragingly, a large portion of the solar installations in Germany are on farmland. Based on these facts,there is no reason why this framework cannot be applied to the UK. The British climate can not and will not affect the success of the UK’s solar market.



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Harish D

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