What you may not think about every day is that the larger majority of the UK is composed of farmland, with the farms producing around 10% of the UK’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, it’s no wonder so many are choosing to become solar energy farms in the UK.
When it comes down to cows, fertilisers, machinery – there are a lot of emissions to consider and a focus on changing this area to meet the climate change goal the country is campaigning towards. This has pushed for the Agriculture Bill, the Environment Bill, and a commitment from the farmers union to reach zero emissions by 2040.
Naturally, the shift towards commercial solar panels for farm buildings is a great step towards making agriculture greener.
When targeting farms, the electricity used in running one account for around 33% of the energy used in agriculture.
This breaks down into heating, ventilation, refrigeration, lighting, and other areas in successfully running a farm. Naturally, this will differ by what the farm produces, particularly in terms of livestock. Poultry farming uses the most amount of electricity on an annual basis, quickly followed by pig and dairy farming. The high usage of electricity is down to elevated requirements for heating and ventilation, and processing for the case of dairy farming.
This creates a huge opportunity for the adoption of renewable energy as the future looks to shift all of farming towards the use of green energy alternatives, including the early incarnations of electric tractors and farming equipment.
Installation of Commercial Solar
Farmland already has space for the successful installation of commercial solar, with large roof spaces and land that can both house solar panels effectively.
Rooftop solar panels can easily be installed on barns, outbuildings, and farmhouses, ideally south facing and having the main incoming electricity supply and distribution board in the same area. Ground-mounted panels can be placed on any land that is unshaded and suitable in size. Ground-mounted panels can be raised if necessary so that smaller animals can graze underneath in the same field, or protect wildflowers in the area.
Farming with Solar
Naturally, solar panels on milking sheds and heated barns are a perfect start in the process, when considering ground-mounted panels you have the opportunity to utilise the space underneath them.
Should you choose to create a wild area underneath, you could use the space to provide a pollination area for bees or even use it as a place for grazing your sheep, using the space provided to explore better greener avenues in running your farm.