14 May 2010

Solar panels in our fields?

A herd of sheep graze amongst sun-tracing photovoltaic panels

The Times today had an interesting article suggesting that the fields in Gloucestershire may soon be covered by thousands of solar panels (photo above from that article). The new tariffs mean guaranteed profit. The rate of installation of solar panels will increase five-fold in Britain this year because of this feed-in tariff, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ecotricity, the renewable energy company based in Stroud, is planning dozens of solar farms and is considering sites near its headquarters.

John Marjoram, Stroud's Deputy Mayor, is quoted welcoming the idea of solar farms but had some words of caution that 40 per cent of the district was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: “Of course we would encourage every sort of renewable energy because we are so far behind the rest of Europe. But we will also have to consider the visual impact.”

Interestingly John made the Independent on Sundays' list last month of the Top 100 happiest people - see here. Anyway I also welcome the idea of these panels - but much care with siting - and I would much prefer to see them on buildings - we have large numbers of warehouse style buildings that could surely be used?


Solar Panels said...

Sounds like a good idea but in my opinion they look very ugly.

Todd said...

I have to disagree with the poster above, because even though there are huge batches of solar panels on the lush grasslands, they still give life and accent the beauty of the fine grass while providing ample places for the livestock to graze.

In Texas, electricity that is renewable is being installed at the farmlands, giving added income to the farm owners. An added advantage is, whenever the owner of a solar panel or a wind turbine has excess electricity, the electric company buys it from him.

Due to the changing Texas electric rates, renewable energy is the best thing to use, since it benefits you and the energy providers.