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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: What evidence exists regarding the effects of photovoltaic panels on biodiversity? A critical systematic map protocol
Author(s): Lafitte, Alix
Sordello, Romain
de Crespin de Billy, Véronique
Froidevaux, Jérémy
Gourdain, Philippe
Kerbiriou, Christian
Langridge, Joseph
Marx, Geoffroy
Schatz, Bertrand
Thierry, Chloé
Reyjol, Yorick
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Keywords: Conservation
Ecological transition
Floating solar
Green infrastructure
Solar panels
Utility-scale solar energy
Issue Date: 2022
Date Deposited: 12-Mar-2023
Citation: Lafitte A, Sordello R, de Crespin de Billy V, Froidevaux J, Gourdain P, Kerbiriou C, Langridge J, Marx G, Schatz B, Thierry C & Reyjol Y (2022) What evidence exists regarding the effects of photovoltaic panels on biodiversity? A critical systematic map protocol. <i>Environmental Evidence</i>, 11 (1), Art. No.: 36.
Abstract: Background: Climate change and the current phase-out of fossil fuel-fired power generation are currently expanding the market of renewable energy and more especially photovoltaic (PV) panels. Contrary to other types of renewable energies, such as wind and hydroelectricity, evidence on the effects of PV panels on biodiversity has been building up only fairly recently. PV panels have been linked to substantial impacts on species and ecosystems, the first and most obvious one being the degradation of natural habitats but they may also lead to mortality of individuals and displacements of populations. Hence, we propose a systematic map aiming to draw a comprehensive panorama of the available knowledge on the effects of photovoltaic and solar thermal (PVST) installations, whatever their scales (i.e. cells, panels, arrays, utility-scale facilities), on terrestrial and semi-aquatic species and natural/semi-natural habitats and ecosystems. This work aims at providing decision-makers with a better understanding of the effects of PVST installations and, therefore, help them further protect biodiversity while also mitigating anthropogenic climate change. Methods: We will follow the collaboration for environmental evidence guidelines and search for relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature in English or French. The search string will combine population (all wild terrestrial and semi-aquatic species-e.g. animals, plants, fungi, microorganisms-as well as natural/semi-natural terrestrial habitats and ecosystems) and exposure/intervention (all technologies of PVST panels at all scales of installations and therefore excluding concentrated solar power) terms. A pre-built test list of relevant articles will be used to assess the compre-hensiveness of the search string. Extracted citations will be screened at title and full-text stages thanks to pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Accepted citations will then be split into studies and observations, from which relevant metadata (e.g. taxon, exposure/intervention, outcome) will be extracted and their internal validity assessed through a critical appraisal. The database will be accessible alongside a map report which will draw a landscape of eligible studies. By describing studied populations, exposures/interventions, outcomes and internal study validity results, the report will identify potential knowledge clusters and gaps regarding the effects of PVST installations on biodiversity and ecosystems.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s13750-022-00291-x
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
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