USING AGRICULTURAL LAND FOR UTILITY-SCALE PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION
The renewable energy sector in Australia is experiencing unprecedented levels of investment, and this presents a unique opportunity for the national economy and for communities in regional Australia. Environmental impacts are minimal and community benefits can accrue from both large- and utility-scale solar projects, such as jobs and regional investment, but there are questions for the agricultural sector to consider as these opportunities open up: To what extent is the concern of energy generation versus food production warranted? Should large-scale solar power stations even be built on agricultural land? The author uses a case study from the Central West of NSW to explore these issues.