Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Renewable energies and biodiversity: Impact of ground‐mounted solar photovoltaic sites on bat activity
Author(s): Tinsley, Elizabeth
Froidevaux, Jérémy S P
Zsebők, Sándor
Szabadi, Kriszta Lilla
Jones, Gareth
Contact Email:
Keywords: Chiroptera
echolocation calls
energy-wildlife conflict
environmental policy
green energy
photovoltaic panels
solar farm
Issue Date: Sep-2023
Date Deposited: 4-Sep-2023
Citation: Tinsley E, Froidevaux JSP, Zsebők S, Szabadi KL & Jones G (2023) Renewable energies and biodiversity: Impact of ground‐mounted solar photovoltaic sites on bat activity. <i>Journal of Applied Ecology</i>, 60 (9), pp. 1752-1762.
Abstract: Renewable energy is growing at a rapid pace globally but as yet there has been little research on the effects of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) developments on bats, many species of which are threatened or protected. We conducted a paired study at 19 ground-mounted solar PV developments in southwest England. We used static detectors to record bat echolocation calls from boundaries (i.e. hedgerows) and central locations (open areas) at fields with solar PV development, and simultaneously at matched sites without solar PV developments (control fields). We used generalised linear mixed-effect models to assess how solar PV developments and boundary habitat affected bat activity and species richness. The activity of six of eight species/species groups analysed was negatively affected by solar PV panels, suggesting that loss and/or fragmentation of foraging/commuting habitat is caused by ground-mounted solar PV panels. Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Nyctalus spp. activity was lower at solar PV sites regardless of the habitat type considered. Negative impacts of solar PV panels at field boundaries were apparent for the activity of Myotis spp. and Eptesicus serotinus, and in open fields for Pipistrellus pygmaeus and Plecotus spp. Bat species richness was greater along field boundaries compared with open fields, but there was no effect of solar PV panels on species richness. Policy implications: Ground-mounted solar photovoltaic developments have a significant negative effect on bat activity, and should be considered in appropriate planning legislation and policy. Solar photovoltaic developments should be screened in Environmental Impact Assessments for ecological impacts, and appropriate mitigation (e.g. maintaining boundaries, planting vegetation to network with surrounding foraging habitat) and monitoring should be implemented to highlight potential negative effects.
DOI Link: 10.1111/1365-2664.14474
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
2023-Impact of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic sites on bat activity.pdfFulltext - Published Version1.42 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.