Webinar

Webinar: Solar Ecosystems - Restoring nature alongside solar power

The fifth Webinar of the 'Energy & Nature' series will focus on best practices and guidelines for solar-PV generation infrastructure which promotes biodiversity and restores nature.

Solar energy plays  a vital role in achieving Europe's energy transition. The EU plans to at least double solar capacity to 320GW by 2025 and almost 600-GW by 2030. Meanwhile, as many wildlife populations continue in free fall - with an average decline in global wildlife populations of 69% since 1970 (WWF)- the EU Nature Restoration Law seeks to give nature the space needed to recover.

Concerns of spatial scarcity often inform the discourse around the appropriate response to these two crises. Many of us will have heard questions like:

  • How is nature expected to recover if increasingly more land is given over to energy generation?
  • Or, conversely: Why should we prioritise biodiversity amid worsening climate and energy crises?

This is, however, a false dichotomy. Restoring biodiversity and expanding renewable energy infrastructure do not need to be at odds with one another.

The fifth webinar in our 'Energy & Nature' series examines how solar parks, when properly sited, designed and managed, can create new opportunities to restore ecosystems, allow biodiversity to thrive, and overcome spatial conflicts.

For example, wide spacing between rows of solar panels, coupled with ecological vegetation management creates open, sunny habitats for a plethera of flora and fauna. In the right places, smaller facilities can act as stepping stone biotopes, while well-managed larger facilities can promote viable populations of, for example, reptiles and breeding birds.

Join us on Thursday 23rd February 11:00 - 12:30CET to discuss best practices on how to better use land to promote both renewable energy and biodiversity. The speakers will be:

  • Carla Freund, Policy Officer for nature-friendly energy transition in Europe, Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Union (NABU). As her title suggests, Carla is an expert on methods to ensure that energy infrastructure works in harmony with nature.
  • Lina Dubina, Project Coordinator for sustainability, SolarPower Europe (SPE). Lina co-ordinated the landmark tool-box report by SPE and BirdLife on Solar, Biodiversity and Land Use.
  • Thies Jensen, Assistant Manager, Wattmanufactur GmbH. Wattmanufactur operate two solar parks in Schlesweig-Holstein, which take different approaches to promoting biodiversity and climate resilience, including one park on rewetted moorland.

Following presentations by each of the speakers, we will enter into a 30-minute open discussion round.

We look forward to welcoming you at the webinar. In case of questions, please contact Liam Innis, RGI's Manager - Energy Ecosystems.

Recording and video

Webinar presentations

Lina Dubina, Project Coordinator for sustainability | SolarPower Europe

 

Thies Jensen, Assistant CEO & Marie Pukas, Marketing Manager | Wattmanufactur GmbH

 

Carla Freund, Policy Officer for nature-friendly energy transition in Europe | NABU

Further links

Contact

Liam Innis
Senior Manager - Energy Ecosystems

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+49 30 2332 11032
liam[at]renewables-grid.eu

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the EU or LIFE Programme. Neither the EU nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

EU LIFE funding support Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.