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A Biodiversity Metric for Scotland’s Planning System

We welcome the opportunity to respond to NatureScot’s Biodiversity Metric for Scotland’s Planning System consultation. We want to highlight the role of solar energy in achieving biodiversity targets whilst being a key element in Scottish Governments plans to decarbonise.

As the trade association representing the solar and storage energy sector in Scotland, we are committed to ensuring that solar technologies play a central role not just in the clean energy transition but in tackling the twin crises of biodiversity and climate change.

If we are to tackle these unprecedented challenges it is essential that we take a system level view, capitalising on the synergies presented by innovative and integrated approaches to clean energy generation, ecological enhancement, and associated opportunities such as food production. During their operation phase (25-40 years) solar farms are largely undisturbed by people and areas between and outside the panels can be manged for, and highly beneficial to, biodiversity.

In collaboration with Clarkson and Woods, Wychwood Biodiversity and Lancaster
University, we have developed a standardised approach to ecological monitoring on solar farms and we encourage all developers to use this.