Trade association Solar Energy UK which represents more than 300 member companies operating in the energy sector said the industry is “deeply concerned” about these remarks on PV projects.
The association’s Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “The solar industry is deeply concerned about Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak’s recent comments on solar farms.
“They offer cheap, clean power and time and again, have been proven to be popular with the public. Yet the two candidates for Prime Minister are falling over themselves to say how much they dislike solar farms.
“How did we end up in this alternate universe?”
Speaking at a Conservative Party event in Exeter, Liz Truss said: “Our fields should be filled of our fantastic produce – whether it’s the great livestock, the great arable farms.
“It shouldn’t be full of solar panels and I will change the rules. I will change the rules to make sure we are using our high value agricultural land for farming.”
Rishi Sunak has hinted at restricting solar development on farmland and reversing proposed government moves to allow onshore wind farm development in England.
Mr Hewett added: “There is a vast swell of capital ready to invest in new solar farms. They cut our carbon footprint, displace extortionately expensive fossil fuels, cut bills, create jobs, benefit nature and bolster the nation’s energy security.
“Truss and Sunak’s views are clearly out of line with public opinion, as independent surveys by the government itself, YouGov and Copper Consultancy have demonstrated, repeatedly. 73% of the Conservative Party member who will select our next Prime Minister support more solar, including solar farms.”
Listen to our net hero podcast with CPRE looking at the balance between using farmland for food or green power.