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.
Suman M. Subramanian at Ignite Phoenix