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Towards Sustainable Solar Energy

Towards Sustainable Solar Energy

Opportunities in circular economy for dual use solar and energy storage

North America’s abundant solar resources and arable land uniquely position it to lead the world in sustainable solar energy production. This form of solar energy development optimizes overall land productivity and supports the environment, the economy, land owners and local communities.

The “dual use” of land for renewable energy and ecosystem services, agriculture or livestock offers the opportunity to reduce solar operation costs while simultaneously creating new pollinator habitats and valued agricultural products. This, in turn, strengthens local economies and regenerates regional ecology.  Sustainable solar energy outcomes are further advanced by designing and building sustainable solar farms that incorporate circular economy principles and consider the whole life cycle of materials.  Collectively, dual use and sustainable material sourcing provides renewable energy purchasers additional opportunity to meet ESG goals.

Arup partnered with global renewable energy leader Enel to jointly advance the opportunity for circular economy and dual use solar as key pillars to improve renewable and sustainable energy generation. The report examines how dual use solar and low impact technology deployment can achieve improved sustainability and circularity outcomes.  The results deliver new insight into how the industry will advance, and how leaders may further build upon the merits of renewable energy to meet business goals while strengthening the environment and local communities.

Download the report