SolarPower Europe has issued the following statement on the EU's Nature Restoration Law.
Naomi Chevillard, Head of Regulatory Affairs at SolarPower Europe said (she/her):
"The Nature Restoration Law is well integrated with the acceleration areas defined by the Renewable Energy Directive. So, nature restoration frameworks not only pose no threat to solar PV development, they actually set a framework, and boost nature-restoration technologies, such as solar.
Solar can be, and is, deployed in harmony with nature. We put out our land-use and biodiversity best practices last year, developed with the leading biodiversity NGO Birdlife – the report is literally pages and pages of case studies around Europe outlining nature-positive solar.
We don’t just aim for solar that ‘has no negative impact,’ we plan for solar projects that significantly improve biodiversity conditions. Whether that’s bringing back pollinators, regenerating soil, improving water quality, or creating wildlife habitats; solar project developers recognise the importance of delivering environmental value alongside energy generation. It’s the right course of action in a world facing a biodiversity crisis, and helps secure vital public support for projects.
As an industry, we’re also prioritising the low hanging fruit for solar deployment – that’s artificial land or water bodies, environmentally degraded or industrial sites, and of course, on buildings.
Thanks to the flexibility of solar, we can also prioritise dual-land use projects that are wins for all involved, and pose limited risk to nature. Solar over crops can reduce water consumption - we’ve seen cases where Agri-PV has reduced water use on farms by 70%. One Joint Research Centre study shows that combining solar and farming on just 10% of agricultural land in the EU would create up to 14 TW of solar capacity – that’s more than 10 times the current global solar capacity.
In 2020 we published our Agrisolar best practices, and we have a new edition coming this month - the demand for this type of solar project is growing rapidly."
SolarPower Europe's Solar, Biodiversity, Land Use: Best Practice Guidelines
Relevant EU environmental legislation for solar projects. EU case studies. Key actions for appropriate land identification. Best practice examples on nature-positive solar sites.Read now
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