We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Solar power on roofs before greenbelt

February 8, 2021 7:03 PM

Roofs before greenbelt for solar powerAs a borough we need to play our part in generating green energy. But there are huge concerns over plans to create a giant solar farm on greenbelt land in Aldenham. The 320 acre site (west of Hilfield Lane) is the size of twenty fields. It would tear a huge chunk out of our local greenbelt and fence off views from important footpaths.

We believe this scheme should be put on hold - because there is a viable alternative.

Where possible, solar panels should go on roofs, not fields. That's why we're calling for a halt to the Aldenham solar farm plan and instead develop a programme to fit the equivalent solar capacity - 50 megawatts - to the roofs of new and existing buildings across Hertsmere.

Typically, five acres are required for each megawatt. Here's how that could be achieved:
  • Fitting solar canopy panels to Hertsmere's car parks: 50 acres = 10 MW
  • A requirement to fit solar panels to all new housing in Hertsmere: a planned 700 per year
  • Same requirement for new commercial buildings eg, the Sky Studios could generate 4 MW alone
  • Retrofitting 1,000 existing houses with solar panels per year: 4KW per house = 20 MW over five years
  • Retrofitting solar panels to all public buildings, eg schools and leisure centres: = ~5MW

This approach would clearly need determination to achieve, but the only alternative is to lose greenbelt.

What about brownfield sites? Council leaders tell us Hertsmere has none spare. Or just oppose the Aldenham scheme and be done with it? That's irresponsible - we have to contribute to renewable energy. rather than leave it to the rest of the country to do it for us.

That will mean tough decisions - but where would you rather put a solar panel? On your roof - or on your local greenbelt?

Please contact us with your views via solar@hertsmerelibdems.org.uk