UK Environment Secretary bemoans 'eyesore' solar farms

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The U.K. Environment Secretary Liz Truss has remarked that solar farms installed on rural agricultural land “make her heart sink” as the government prepares to scrap the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) payments to farmers who install solar farms on their land.

From January 1, farmers will no longer be eligible to receive CAP payments for any land that is used for the production of solar energy. The grant scheme was worth £2 million a year ($3.11 million), with an acre of land eligible for around £100. Existing and planned solar farms in the U.K. cover around 18,700 acres of farmland, which is the equivalent of more than 10,000 soccer pitches.

However, the U.K. government has made its feelings on ground-mounted, large-scale solar clear: the future lies in rooftop installations, particularly commercial-scale PV.

“Solar panels are best placed on the 250,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops where they will not compromise the success of our agricultural industry,” Truss told the Daily Telegraph. “That is why I am scrapping farming subsidies for solar fields.”

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