Skip to main content

EAC Chair welcomes clarity on rural solar farms

15 May 2024

Responding to today’s announcement of further detail on plans to balance solar energy with food security, Environmental Audit Committee Chair Philip Dunne said:  

“Whatever path the United Kingdom takes to delivering Net Zero, solar energy is the renewable generation source likely to power many homes and businesses. The Committee I chair is examining measures to enable sustainable electrification of the economy, and has called for a national mobilisation to deliver energy efficiency measures like solar panels on new developments.

“But progress on solar energy must not undermine the UK’s ability to deliver a sustainable supply of food, which was the subject of a report on food security issued by our committee earlier this year.

“The Government is right to provide clarity here, prioritising the higher grades of agricultural land for food production and ensuring that farmers are able to maintain food security in the coming years.

“I therefore welcome today’s confirmation that solar energy developers should avoid ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land – that best suited for growing crops – when selecting areas they intend for solar farms.

“I am also encouraged by the announcement that the Government plans to expand the Renewable Energy Planning Database. This will offer the opportunity to consider concentrations of solar applications, avoiding ‘clustering’ of projects which can concern some rural communities.”

Further information

Image credit: Pixabay