10 Apr 2019 Impacts of Operational Solar Farms on Biodiversity: a Review of Studies and Call for Evidence
As the number of solar farms in the UK increases, there is growing interest in the interactions of wildlife with ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. Evidence of whether operational solar farms impact on biodiversity remains limited, however, particularly in a UK context. To address this, BSG Ecology has undertaken a literature review of worldwide research on the evidence of the impacts of solar farms on biodiversity. Birds, bats, invertebrates and other ecological features have been considered, the applicability of the findings to the UK situation assessed, and areas in which further studies are needed to address data gaps identified.
In order to address these remaining data gaps, it would be very useful if local authorities and developers could provide ecological monitoring reports for solar farms to us so that we can incorporate the results of studies in our review, which will remain a live document. It would be of benefit to both business and nature conservation stakeholders if a more comprehensive evidence base could be relied upon in assessing likely impacts, as well as in the design of appropriate and proportionate survey, monitoring and ultimately in the production of industry standard guidance. It would also be useful to understand the level of biodiversity benefit that has been achieved through management of habitats within and adjacent to solar farms during their operational phase, as national planning policy in England and Wales now requires development to deliver biodiversity net gain and greater biodiversity resilience respectively.
The review can be downloaded here: The Potential Ecological Impacts Of Ground-Mounted Photovoltaic Solar Panels In The UK
If you have additional information to inform the review, please contact Owain Gabb. All contributors will be acknowledged.
Examples of the varied ecological support BSG has provided to solar applications can be found below
If you need ecological support with regard to a solar project at any stage of the planning process, please contact one of our offices.