This activity has three components to address key knowledge gaps (e.g. Armstrong et al, 2016) and complement other UKRI programmes such as the NERC/ESRC programme on unconventional hydrocarbons.

Solar

This research aims to develop an understanding of ecosystem responses to solar parks, developing a typology of solar park response, dependent on management and location. This work will include a national survey of 40 different sites to explore ecosystem responses, including the effect of different management conditions and geographical settings. Specifically, vegetation (biomass and community composition) and soil (including C, N, & density) response will be assessed. Pollinator response at a subset of sites will be supported through a NERC ENVISION CASE PhD studentship. The data, along with existing microclimate data, will be used to further understanding of carbon dynamics.

Cumulative impacts of renewable energy in Scotland

The ADVENT project previously investigated the cumulative impact of wind farms on the environment and the economy, due to peatland, forest and agriculture loss Р with the impact found to be significant (Fabrizio Albanito in writing). This work will be extended to consider the electrification of transport, exploring impacts from the installation of electricity supply infrastructure, road building and railway extensions as a means to decarbonize transport infrastructure. The research will also explore the decarbonization of heat looking at bioenergy (with and without CCS), and heat pumps Рincluding impacts on electricity supply and infrastructure, as well as land impacts and heat island effects. Results will be compared against the natural resources required to reduce demand by improving housing efficiency.

Offshore wind farms

More details to follow soon.