Bees and Birds Love Solar


Solar energy is growing faster than the growth of the Internet and faster than the growth of mobile phone adoption. In 2016 the plains and Midwest are poised for a large solar bloom — likely more than 6,500 acres of ground-mounted solar will be built. That’s less than 0.001 percent of the area’s millions of acres of row crops, but for bees, monarch butterflies, and all pollinators, it will provide a world of good. We all like to eat. And pollinators are necessary for 1/3 of all our food. However, pollinator populations are in steep decline. A White House a report found that pollinators add more than $15 billion of value to our food system. What if we plant all these solar sites with native grasses and flowering forbs? It’s already a common practice in Germany and the UK. 6,500 acres is the equivalent of more than 3,500,000 homes with 6’ x 12’ pollinator gardens. We all have a role to play in calling attention to this opportunity.