Photovoltaic plants developed on rural land are becoming a common infrastructure in theMediterranean region andmay contribute, at least indirectly, to various forms of environmental degradation including landscape deterioration, land take, soil degradation and loss in traditional cropland and biodiversity. Our study illustrates a procedure estimating the extension of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields at themunicipal scale in Italy and inferring the socioeconomic profile of the Italianmunicipalities experiencing different expansion rates of groundmounted photovoltaic fields over the last years (2007-2014). The procedure was based on diachronic information derived from official data sources integrated into a geographical decision support system. Our results indicate that the surface area of ground-mounted photovoltaic fields into rural land grew continuously in Italy between 2007 and 2014 with positive and increasing growth rates observed during 2007-2011 and positive but slightly decreasing growth rates over 2012-2014, as a result of market saturation and policies containing the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields. We found important differences in the density of ground-mounted solar plants between northern and southern Italian municipalities. We identified accessible rural municipalities in southern Italy with intermediate population density and large availability of non-urban land as the most exposed to the diffusion of solar plants on greenfields in the last decade. Our approach is a promising tool to estimate changes in the use of land driven by the expansion of photovoltaic fields into rural land.
|Titolo:||Solar plants, environmental degradation and local socioeconomic contexts: A case study in a Mediterranean country|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1.1 Articolo su rivista con DOI|