Solar has become one of the least expensive sources for new energy generation and fields of solar panels are appearing everywhere, including on forest and farmland. Most people have a sense that cutting down forests to install solar is not a good idea, but we assume it must be necessary in order to curb climate change. That was the thinking of early legislation passed to fast track solar installations without environmental review. But has that assumption stood up to the facts? This talk explore two aspects of the negative impacts of of solar installations on forest land and the viability of alternatives.
Michelle Manion, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at Mass Audubon discusses the impacts of current trends in solar installation to nature. She reveals the conclusions of a study commissioned by Mass Audubon on the true cost of more sustainable alternatives. The talk also looks at the heat island effect of large solar installations and consider their impact on climate goals. Jessica Rempel, Natural Resources Analyst for the Cape Cod Commission, joins the discussion to discuss how to balance solar and protection of nature and landscape.
The discussion is moderated by Beck Mordini, Executive Director of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. This talk is part of Life Saves the Planet, a partnership between Bio4Climate and the GBH Forum Network.