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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Considering the Environment and Nature when Building and Operating Ground Mounted Solar Power Plants in Norway

Alternative title: Ivaretakelse av miljø og natur ved bygging og drift av bakkemonterte solkraftverk i Norge

Awarded: NOK 14.0 mill.

EnviSol's mission is to harmonize the growth of ground-mounted solar power plants in Norway with the imperative to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. With renewable energy production, preserving nature, and supporting ecosystems all in mind, EnviSol aims to pinpoint the ideal methods and locations for these solar installations, mitigating clashes over land use. In collaboration with research partners IFE, NINA, NIBIO, and NMBU, EnviSol brings together diverse expertise to tackle cross-sector challenges. The project's strength lies in its unity, with ten partners representing various stakeholder interests joining forces to answer complex research questions. EnviSol's objectives: Understanding Nature's Response: EnviSol dives deep into the effects of PV parks on the natural world, seeking insights to minimize or prevent their impact. Balancing Usage Conflicts: By identifying strategies to reduce clashes stemming from diverse PV park uses, EnviSol aspires to find common ground between energy generation and ecosystem preservation. Innovative Design for Dual Benefits: PV parks are primarily installed and operated to generate electricity but may also be actively used for other purposes. We will investigate how PV park design, construction and operations can be tuned to support ecosystem services in Nordic conditions The EnviSol consortium is strategically assembled to advance the understanding of PV park and nature interactions. Their holistic approach encompasses nature-stimulating measures alongside cost-effective energy production, all while addressing usage conflicts. This interdisciplinary effort embodies the intersection of innovation and environmental responsibility.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services confirms that environmental challenges go far beyond those of climate change. Climate change and loss of biodiversity is tightly intertwined, and both are directly connected to land use. Considering that solar energy is among the energy forms with the least environmental impact, EnviSol will promote a knowledge based and sustainable expansion of Norway’s power producing capacity. Boldly stated, the aim of EnviSol is, through an inter-disciplinary approach to energy production, to illustrate how one can avoid destroying nature to save the climate! EnviSol will achieve this by building knowledge in three strategic areas: - Reducing impacts from PV parks on nature. Land use change such as the installment of PV parks can impact biodiversity simultaneously at multiple spatial scales (e.g., species, ecological communities, meta-communities, regional species pool. EnviSol will find ecological indicators for assessing the impact of PV parks at each level and develop a framework for describing impacts across spatial scales. - Mapping areas with reduced conflict. Here we will focus on the mapping of areas potentially suitable for the installation of large PV parks and on the identification of possible conflicts of use. We will design and apply a methodology based on the production of maps enabling identification of suitable areas, analysis of potential conflicts of use, and creation of different scenarios supporting that analysis. - Designing PV parks enabling multiple uses of land. PV parks are primarily installed and operated to generate electricity but may also be actively used for other purposes. We will investigate how PV park design, construction and operations can be tuned to support ecosystem services in Nordic conditions

Funding scheme:

ENERGIX-Stort program energi