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How much land do solar farms take up?

  • by JW

“Golf courses take up more space than solar power in the UK.” [Carbon Brief]

“Solar farms cover less than 0.1% of the UK’s land area”


There have been some pretty daft proposals for solar farms – including Exeter University wanting to place an urban solar park on urban green space. And yet there are more clever places to put solar panels – such as solar panels over car parks.

However, one of the biggest concerns is that solar farms are depriving the UK of farmland – and yet the proposal of agrivoltaic solar farms for East Devon would potentially be a win-win:

“Agrivoltaic farming is the practice of growing crops underneath solar panels. Doubling up on land use in this way could help feed the world’s growing population while also providing sustainable energy.”

A year ago, the issue was very much in the news – and so Carbon Brief put together a Factcheck: Is solar power a ‘threat’ to UK farmland?

In this factcheck, Carbon Brief assesses some of the statements made by UK politicians about solar power in recent months, how land is used in the UK and the concept of “agrivoltaics” – systems in which farmland is effectively combined with solar power.

Here’s a fabulous graphic from that study:

And here’s another graphic embedded in a tweet sent out earlier today: