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Agriculture: Land

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL7818, tabled on 7 April 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they expect to reconcile food security and self-sufficiency with plans to install solar panels on agricultural land.

Answered on

25 April 2022

Solar is a cheap, versatile, and effective technology that will help limit household electricity bills and ensure Britain is less affected by fluctuations in volatile global gas prices.

The Government recognises the need to preserve productive arable farmland. Planning guidance prioritises the effective use of land and encourages the deployment of large- scale solar farms on previously developed and non-agricultural land. Where greenfield sites are considered, projects should be designed to avoid, mitigate and, where necessary, compensate for impacts. The government supports solar that is co-located with other functions (for example, agriculture, onshore wind generation, or storage) to maximise the efficiency of land use.

The UK has a high degree of food security built on supply from diverse sources; strong domestic production, as well as imports through stable trade routes.