Recent research has shown that solar parks hosting solar panels could be beneficial to bees. Solar parks that are managed as wild meadows can bring up to four times as many bees than solar parks that are based on turf. These meadows that are rich in wildflowers and plants can boost the density of pollinators which can help improve ecosystem health even a kilometre away from the site.
This is a huge opportunity for green energy investors to help provide floral and nesting resources for bees and to help improve the sustainability of the energy industry. Maintaining a healthy biodiversity within an area will have a ripple effect on the success of crops and our food systems. A recent solar energy conference in Minneapolis with a company that has been trialling hives near their solar farms even served IPA using honey from their hives. At this site, more than half of the 4000 acres of solar farms built in 2016 and 2017 feature native plants that benefit pollinators. This kind of move from energy companies aims to reduce carbon emissions and expand renewable energy whilst providing 'dual farming' opportunities for the food sector. With more land being devoted to solar energy production, the move to make those areas more rewilded spaces is great news for economic and environmental sustainability!