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Solar energy

Sensitively sited solar energy installations can make an important contribution to reducing our carbon emissions.

Solar photovoltaic (solar PV) installations can play a part in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. However, they can also have impacts on the landscape and on sensitive species through, for example, habitat loss and risk of collisions.

Impacts on sensitive landscapes, habitats and species can be avoided by careful siting of installations and good land and habitat management. In this way, solar energy can bring net benefits for wildlife and the countryside.

Our guidance

Our guidance will help applicants, installers and planning authorities to consider the impact of commercial-scale solar PV installations on the natural heritage. Following the guidance will result in a consistent, proportionate level of assessment. Ultimately, however, it is the planning authority's responsibility to set out the level of assessment needed to determine the risks to the environment.

Installers and planning authorities should also consider the impact of the infrastructure associated with solar PV installations – including grid connections.

Read Natural Heritage Considerations for Solar Photovolataic Installations