“Farmers have urged whoever succeeds Liz Truss as UK prime minister to abandon plans to ban solar energy from most of England’s farmland,” reports the Guardian, “arguing that it would hurt food security by cutting off a vital income stream.”
Truss, who resigned on Thursday, and her environment secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, hoped to ban solar from about 41% of the land area of England, or about 58% of agricultural land, the Guardian revealed last week. They planned to do this by reclassifying less productive farmland as “best and most valuable”, making it more difficult to use for energy infrastructure.
Members of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents 33,000 landowners, told the Guardian having solar on their less productive land allowed them to subsidise food production during less successful years, as well as providing cheap power for their estates and homes in their local area.
One farmer made the case succinctly to the Guardian. “We make unequivocally more from our solar panels than from farming.”