Solar power occupies a lot of space – here’s how to make it more ecologically beneficial to the land it sits on

As societies look for ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change, large-scale solar power is playing a central role. Climate scientists view it as the tool with the greatest potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. In the U.S., the Department of Energy predicts that solar will account for nearly 60% of all new utility-scale electricity-generating capacity installed in 2024.

But ideal locations for solar development often overlap with croplands or grasslands used for livestock grazing. Typically, large-scale solar arrays are designed to maximize energy generation, without much consideration for the ecosystems in which they are placed.

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