Italy restricts solar panels on farmland

While the globe is slowly turning the ship to a greener future, it was bad news for green campaigners in Italy this week as the government announced a ban on solar panels on agricultural land.

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What have the Italian government announced?

The Italian government this week restricted the use of ground-mounted solar panels on farmland, saying that it limits farming and cultivation. The government has not banned mixed-use solar panel projects, however, so farmers wishing to place solar panels alongside vineyards or crops can still do so.

While the government has said that the purpose of the ban is to protect rural farming traditions, critics have argued that due to the right-wing coalition’s strong links to the fossil fuel industry, it is more likely about protecting the oil, coal and gas prices.

What is the impact of this ban?

Climate commentators and scientists are concerned that banning ground-based solar panels on farmlands makes it much harder for Italy to meet its own 2030 climate goals. The renewable energy industry in Italy has highlighted that a third of Italy’s solar energy comes from large plants. They have also criticised the move, saying that it will make electricity more expensive for Italians and has damaged growth and investment in the sector in Italy.

How common are solar panels in the UK?

The growth of the UK’s solar power market is very impressive and is expected to rise by around 20% per year. However, the planning and permissions process for solar farms is very rigorous.

With the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis making energy more expensive, many homeowners are considering solar panels Cheltenham. With the rise in their popularity, the cost of solar panels has been steadily decreasing and many councils have made the planning process much easier. In many areas planning is not needed at all, and if it is, solar panel installers such as offer full planning services.

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Many new homes are now built with solar panels and other renewable energy options such as ground source heat pumps included.

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