Large Scale Solar Farms Generating Electricity

In Broxford in Suffolk Santander are building a 60 hectare array of solar photo-voltaic panels, which they expect to generate 32.8 megawatt of electricity. The array is being built on a disused airfield.  It will be one of Britain’s largest photo-voltaic installations. and will feed electricity into the grid during daylight hours, cashing in on the very large subsidy that the United Kingdom taxpayer pays.

These very large solar arrays are probably a waste of money, which could be better spent in combating climate change. They are also probably a waste of land. The will be hugely profitable, as is indicated by the ability of designers and developers of large scale PV arrays to raise money from the stock market and financial institutions. They are becoming more interesting, to those that want to invest money, than off shore wind farms.

These arrays are not a thing of beauty and applications for new “solar farms” are increasingly being met with local opposition.

I could think of many better ways to fight climate change; building a large scale solar array would, on any logical assessment of what we need to do to fight climate change, come after many other measures, such as requiring insulation in buildings, (which will save energy) small scale solar water heating for homes (which will save emissions without the environmental damage that the manufacture of PV creates) heat recovery systems an offshore wind turbines.

But money rules when it comes to the environment; business is concerned to use environmental dangers as an opportunity to make money, so we often find the cart being placed before the horse, because public subsidies make it more profitable to place the cart first, even if it is a hard way to push the cart along the road.

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