Nature-Positive Solar Farms: Maximising Biodiversity Net Gain

solar farms roundtable

On 11th March, 2024, PRASEG hosted a roundtable discussion on nature-positive solar farms in the Boothroyd Room at Portcullis House, hosted and chaired by Alex Sobel MP, Co-Chair. The event brought together experts from The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, Solar Energy UK, and Low Carbon to explore how solar farms can support nature recovery and habitat creation.

The event featured insightful contributions from Katie-Jo Luxton, Director for Global Nature Conservation at RSPB; Nigel Symes, Head of Sector Advice at RSPB; Harriet Parker, Head of Sustainability & ESG at Low Carbon; Rachel Hayes, Consents and ESG Policy Manager at Solar Energy UK; and Dr. Sue Young, Head of Land Use Planning and Ecological Networks at The Wildlife Trusts.

The discussions focused on the integration of biodiversity net gain (BNG) into solar farm projects, in light of the legislative mandate requiring a 10% BNG for new developments. The speakers emphasised the potential of solar farms to contribute significantly to nature recovery and habitat enhancement when biodiversity considerations are incorporated from the planning stages.

Industry representatives shared their experiences and strategies for implementing sustainability and biodiversity measures. The discussions emphasised the need for collaboration between the solar industry and conservation organisations to achieve the best outcomes for both renewable energy production and ecological conservation.