A “Land Liberation” for Solar Energy

The renewable energy acceleration bill will include a "land release" component to develop solar energy.
libération foncier solaire_energynews

The edges of roads, railroads, large parking lots and some farmland will be able to host solar energy projects, so that France can meet its increasing electricity needs, announced the President of the Republic Thursday.

The bill of acceleration of the renewable energies which will be presented in council of ministers on September 26th will carry in particular a section of “liberation of the land”, specified Emmanuel Macron on Thursday during the inauguration of the first French wind farm in sea, off Saint-Nazaire.

“In the coming months and years, we will install more solar panels by identifying all the spaces that lend themselves to it, in the city, on the side of the roads,” said the president, citing also “large parking lots” where the installation of panels “can generate additional income.”

Referring to the “decarbonation of highways”, he estimated that “the edges of freeways” and “the edges of railroads” could also accommodate solar panels. “It allows us to protect the beauty of the landscape, while developing renewable energy,” he noted.

“I also want us to move forward on agrivoltaics” – the installation of solar panels on farmland – which represents a “very significant potential for additional income” for farmers, he continued.

However, the president insisted on the need to provide “safeguards” to avoid that electricity production “does not replace” the fields, meadows and herds, that is to say, food production.

“We know it’s doable and we need to move much faster,” he said.

To this end, the government “must present an amendment to the bill before its passage to the Senate” to draw the conclusions of the recent “consultations” conducted with the Council of French Agriculture and young farmers, said the President.

Emmanuel Macron was in Outarville in the Loiret region on September 9 for the annual meeting of the Young Farmers Congress (JA) “les Terres de Jim”.

In Europe, “our neighbors have gone much faster, especially in the north or south and everything that is the edge of the Baltic Sea with a very strong strategy today and the south of Europe in terms of renewable energy,” he noted to justify the acceleration of these energies in France that must also focus on wind offshore and on land.

The Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (Ademe) has identified a total of 843 industrial and urban wastelands likely to host photovoltaic installations, says a recent circular, which AFP was able to consult.

This was sent by the government to the prefects to organize load shedding in case of gas and electricity shortages this winter and to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects.

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