1. Why is this workstream important?
According to the European Environment Agency: “Europe is one of the most intensively used continents on the globe. It has the highest proportion of land (up to 80 %) used for settlement, production systems (in particular agriculture and forestry) and infrastructure. However, conflicting land-use demands often arise, requiring decisions that involve hard trade-offs.” At the same time, we do need to deploy massive amounts of renewable energy to deliver the clean energy that European citizens need and to reach climate neutrality in line with the European Green Deal. How do we go about ensuring responsible land use for solar energy in Europe? And how can we go further by inventing new business models that would simultaneously tackle solar energy production, food security and nature conservation? Through a dual-use approach and innovative business cases like Agrisolar or Floating PV, the Land-Use and Permitting workstream will gather knowledge and solutions to bring the solar sector to the next level.
2. Why should companies join this workstream?
Land-use planning and management policies are high on the agenda of the European Commission. Companies involved in the workstream would be able to co-design a joint solar statement and influence the next strategies and regulation while being at the core of their elaboration.
3. What will the future of the Land Use and Permitting Workstream look like?
The workstream will work as a hub increasing knowledge of all stakeholders by bringing science in the public debate, showcasing successful solutions and stories, and communicating reports and papers. We are expecting the contribution of SolarPower Europe members understanding that the future of solar energy relies on our capacity to integrate nature into our business models and external guests sharing common values or specific expertise.
"European ambition and goals for solar energy has increased exponentially to achieve the energy transition. In order to successfully achieve those targets, the solar sector has to be an example and leader in sustainable development, respectful of nature and European citizens. The Land Use and Permitting Workstream will share experience, expertise and recommendations to increase best practices in land management through a specific focus on biodiversity and dual-use business models like Agrisolar and Floating PV."