On the 13th of April 2023, an article was published in the widely known Portuguese newspaper Expresso focusing on the felling of trees by photovoltaic solar power plants in Portugal, here (in Portuguese).
The news piece discusses some of the environmental impacts of the various existing and planned large-scale solar projects in the country, with special attention to the felling of trees such as cork oak and holm oak (but also eucalyptus). Implications in terms of ecosystem services and issues of social acceptance are debated. Attention is drawn to the role of decentralized solar photovoltaic power in artificialized areas, as well as to the “trade-off” that needs to be managed between the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions via renewable electricity and addressing other environmental and social impacts. One issue to consider here is the carbon sink role of forests.
The article refers several times to the work of LNEG regarding: (i) analysis of the role of solar photovoltaics in industrial areas; (ii) mapping of less sensitive areas with a view to the potential installation of solar and wind generation and (iii) work still in progress regarding the mapping of potential for decentralized photovoltaic solar on roofs, car parks, etc.