Solar farms generate eco-friendly power by harnessing the energy from the sun, providing a greener alternative to fossil-fueled power stations. While there are concerns about the impact of solar farms on green space, many believe that urban areas are ideal for hosting solar farms. Here are some reasons why converting urban areas into solar farms would be beneficial and a look at the pros and cons of urban solar farms, as well as an examination of countries that have already implemented this technology.
What are Solar Farms, and Why are They Needed in the UK
Solar farms are large-scale solar installations that can produce enough electricity to power small cities. The UK needs solar farms to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, with the recent volatility in the price of electricity due to dependence on fossil fuels, solar power provides a stable and free source of energy.
Why Have They Divided Public Opinion?
While rural solar farms are controversial, some people argue that they are necessary to combat climate change. However, some rural residents view them as an eyesore. One solution is to repurpose unused urban areas for solar farms.
The Case for Converting Urban Areas into Solar Farms
Installing solar panels in urban areas provides a solution to the challenges faced by eco-conscious renters and homeowners who lack the space or permission to install their own solar panels. Additionally, urban solar farms can help reduce the carbon emissions of cities, which are much higher than rural areas. By repurposing unused areas such as rooftops, car parks, and even disused urban green spaces, we can generate clean electricity that contributes to a more sustainable future.
Are Other Countries Converting Urban Areas into Solar Farms?
France recently passed legislation to mandate the installation of solar panels on all new commercial buildings and industrial parks. Additionally, the United States is rapidly installing solar panels in urban areas. However, the UK is lagging behind in this regard, and there is a need to convert more urban areas into solar farms to create a greener future.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Some advantages of urban solar farms are listed below:
- Clean and Renewable Energy for Cities
- Utilizes Unused Space in Cities
- Creates Jobs
- Reduces Global Emissions
All of these are great benefits, however some disadvantages are:
- High Upfront Cost to Install
- Limited Space in Cities for Solar Farms
- Dependent on Weather
- Expensive Solar Energy Storage
Urban solar farms offer cities an opportunity to generate clean electricity using unused space, but they are not a stand-alone solution. Combining them with other renewable sources of energy and moving away from fossil fuels on the grid are necessary to achieve the UK’s net zero goal by 2050.