In Devon, the issue has been highlighted by a 50-acre solar farm which runs for around a mile alongside the road on Haldon Ridge above Dawlish. The site has been given planning permission for 25 years, and according to one media report will generate £770,000 annual income – £430,000 of which will be from green subsidies.
Whilst walking over Haldon, last weekend, you could observe that the panels do increase the temp in the vicinity of the installation. To the extent that the area has a heat haze you would normally expect with the height of Summer. What temp's will be created in the locality of these installations when Summer does eventually come round? How will this affect the local wildlife, grazing livestock etc!
So what would folk prefer i helped to undertake a survey recently asking members of the public what they would prefer close to their home the options where, WIND FARM,SOLAR FARM, WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT, GAS POWERED STATION. A NUCLEAR POWER STATION, or non of the above. 86% answered non of the above now nobody wants these methods of producing power so whats the answer wave power or tidal power comes to mind but there will still be objections to that, we just live in a NIMBY world. One of the answers is that all new builds must have solar instalations on the roof there are ways to supply our energy needs we just need a little investment.
Solar farms are not particularly efficient as well as being unsightly. The economic case for them rested largely on utilising farm subsidy payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). . The government recently announced that from Jan 2015 these would be withdrawn in favour of increasing agricultural production.
As existing grants will stand the Haldon farm may be one of the last such developments unless there are huge technical advances to make the systems economically efficient.
I can't help thinking 'good!'.
The site would be great for a WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT good links from the M5 we could bring waste from Bristol and all points north plus the bonus of a few jobs good news all round.
All new builds should have solar panels or solar thermal and subsidies given to householders to buy solar PV/thermal. also advances in lithium batteries could mean that power produced and not used directly can be stored in situ and not fed back into the grid.
Of course all of that would mean that the big 6 and private supposedly 'green energy' firms wouldn't be able to make a profit from what is free energy falling on roofs that they do not own.
It's actually not that hard to make a DIY solar thermal system.
Most of the companies just present themselves as green as it is a handy marketing ploy, their priority is money though.
And solar panels in fields instead of in urban areas on south facing roofs which predominantly are angled at the required 30 degrees?
It's about who owns the land, or who can afford to buy land. and what they can get out of it. Tidal and wind power is the way forward in conjunction with solar and diligent use of fossil fuels in the short-term and yes NIMBY means renewables probably won't reach it's potential. But it'll be future generations that have to deal with our inability to act.
The problem is realy simple farmers sell land for solar farms and housing because there's money in it unlike farming, folk bang on about fields being used for food production but would you keep a dairy herd at the moment. There is just not enough profit in food production and it's our fault becauase we demand cheaper and cheaper food would you be prepared to spend another £1.00 for 6 pint's of milk probably not yet we winge about the loss of our field's you cant have it both way's can you.
If and when we leave the EU the fields will have to be brought back into food production. The main reasons all subsidies will cease and the supermarkets will not be able to import milk etc so easily. Maybe it means Britain can start to become great again. Farmers grow food and open farm shops so local people can buy locally instead of 1000s of supermarket lorries pounding up and down the motorways 24/7.
As I understand it, a solar farm can still be 'farmed'. Apparently, sheep farming can still be undertaken as the sheep graze between and under the panels. Also, again apparently, ewes like to lamb in the shelter created beneath the panels.
Seems an ideal solution for struggling hill farmers...if their fields face the right direction.
I imagine that free range chicken farming would also be okay; and an improvement for the welfare of the birds.
A little imagination in the design of the panel stands could also create ideal pig arks.