The outlook for solar panels on farmland is not looking bright.

During Liz Truss' leadership campaign she decried solar panels in fields, telling a husting in Exeter at the start of August: "I think one of the most depressing sights when you're driving through England is seeing fields that should be full of crops or livestock, full of solar panels.

"Our fields should be filled [with] our fantastic produce…[They] shouldn’t be full of solar panels, and I will change the rules. I will change the rules to make sure…we’re using our high value agricultural land for farming.”

According to Solar Energy UK, for existing projects approximately six acres of land is required for every megawatt (MW) of power, which means that current ground-mounted solar covers an estimated 230 square kilometres (km2).

This is just under 0.1 per cent of land in the UK.

In comparison, according to Corine Land Cover data, agricultural land covers 56 per cent of the UK. Around 70,000km2 is pasture used for grazing cows and sheep, and around 67,000km2 is for growing cereals and legumes.

Somerset MP, the new Business and Energy Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg also threw shade at solar panels on farmland at this year's Conservative conference.

Illustrating the topic by referring to a "beastly bouncy thing" in his garden, he told delegates in early October: “You say sheep may safely graze but they don’t get all the grass because they are covered by solar panels. So they may graze but they are gonna be quite hungry sheep, aren’t they with just the little bits around the solar panels.

“Grass doesn’t grow underneath things because the sun doesn’t get through, because the sun’s going to the solar panel, so they (the panels) may be on stilts but what you get growing underneath is sort of weedy stuff that isn’t very nutritious.

“I know this from my own garden where we’ve got a beastly bouncy thing – what are they called, trampolines? And underneath the trampoline, the grass is dead. I’ve got a couple of sheep actually, if they went under the trampoline, they wouldn’t get much nutrition.”

He added: “There is always a tension between what you regulate and what you don’t regulate. And it is all about balance. I think we need to have some concern about food security, and therefore maintaining highly productive agricultural land is quite a sensible interest.”

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New environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena is understood to be looking to redefine land categories to curb the development of solar power.

The 'best and most versatile' land (BMV) which is earmarked for farming, may be redefined to include the middling-to-low category 3b. Land is graded from 1 to 5, and currently BMV includes grades 1 to 3a. Current advice to planners is that development on BMV land should be avoided.

Despite analysis by the Financial Times showing that banning solar from agricultural land would lose £20billion investment, the PM's spokesperson confirmed that plans for the ban are going ahead.

The spokesperson said: "I can point you back to what the prime minister said, I think at the start of September, when she said she doesn’t think we should be putting solar panels on productive agricultural lands, because obviously as well as the energy security issue, we face a food security issue. So we need to strike the right balance.”