Characterisation of existing solar parks: biodiversity development and integration in the landscape

The estimation is that roughly 30,000 hectares of solar fields will be required on land in the Netherlands by 2050. Assumptions are made that this will negatively impact the soil quality and biodiversity at the specific sites. However, since the used energy technology is rather new in the Netherlands, long-time observations and data are lacking. Therefore, a first scan of the effects on soil quality and biodiversity is being examined for 10 - 20 existing solar fields.

We will conduct an outlook study as part of this project to assess whether such concerns are justified, and to obtain insights on the variation in solar fields and their impacts. This outlook study will describe the characteristics of the of solar fields, including their governance, vegetation cover, the amount of light as an indicator of the impact on soil quality, organic matter, various biodiversity aspects, agricultural use, and the imbedding in the landscape. Based on this, recommendations will be made regarding the monitoring of solar fields and the knowledge required for the design and realisation of multifunctional solar parks in the coming decades.