According to studies conducted on 11 solar farms in UK, researchers have found that solar-powered farms are great for increasing biodiversity. This means in coming years we can expect a positive effect on local wildlife, all thanks to solar installations in farms.
There has been a wide increase in numbers of both animal and plants near the farms. To be precise, there are specific animal and plant species that are increasing such as grass, butterflies, birds and bumblebees. All this has been possible due to certain initiatives that solar farms promote, such as limited pesticide usage, reduction in livestock density and re-establishing margin fields.
How solar farms increase biodiversity
While creating a solar farm, there are certain things that need to be considered. Firstly, the areas near or underneath the solar panels must be fertile. Various local wildflowers, grass and other plant seeds are sown in the soil, according to the respective seasons. Moreover, appropriate growth conditions are provided to the fields for increasing versatility and diversity of plants.
Secondly, areas for ponds and lakes are also constructed to offer convenient habitat for aquatic birds and animals. Even bird and bat boxes are formed at different locations.
Thirdly, sites for beehives are also selected for both honey and solitary bees.
Lastly, proper hibernacula management is done to provide shelter to refugee birds and animals that are seeking a proper habitat. With the help of all these measures and different procedures, farmers can help in the growth of animals and plants in future.
Solar farms for higher botanical diversity
With huge reduction in pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, more organic and fresh plants will be grown in solar farms. There will be proper control on animal grazing – as no grazing will be allowed especially during flowering season. This is likely to be beneficial in active growth of different broad-leafed plants and flowers.
Even farmers will be educated about proper land management so that they could deal with all sort of climatic conditions. Furthermore, micro-climatic conditions will also be present. This means within the solar farm itself, there will be enough shaded as well as unshaded area for plants to grow as per their requirement.
Solar farms for higher animal and bird diversity
The solar farms focus on growth of both vertebrates and invertebrates. There will be enough food and grass for grazing for cattle. The quality of grass and food will be of superior quality so that milk, wool and other animal-related food source is also of better quality for human consumption.
Proper health check-up facilities and living conditions will be provided to all the farm animals. Not only cattle, but proper care facilities are also provided for birds that live in branch nest and ground nest. Plus, appropriate feeding and nesting sites will be selected of different bird species so that they can grow and live comfortably.
Future of Solar Farming
By 2050 it is being expected that a large chunk of the electricity supply around the world will be through solar power, this clearly means solar farming has a bright future. Various developed nations like UK and USA already have established plenty of solar farms and also seen wide range of improvement in biodiversity.
Over the years, researchers have found positive results of solar farms and the results are likely to increase in future as well. Even few developing nations are also inclining towards solar farms. Why not? It’s definitely going to prevent extinction of plant and animal species, meanwhile provide more natural and organic ways of living.
Solar farms have a bright future – as these eco-friendly farms are certainly going to take sustainability and biodiversity to new heights.