Agrivoltaic solar farms offer “shocking” benefits beyond producing energy

Agrivoltaic solar farms offer “shocking” benefits beyond producing energy

Next-gen solar parks that enable energy and food production as well as water conservation to work in synergy on the same plot can help to solve solar‘s growing land-use issue, according to the researchers making them a reality.

“There is this big debate around using land for solar versus using it for agriculture,” said Colorado State University researcher Jennifer Bousselot. “And I just roll my eyes because you don’t have to pick. They can be combined.”

“This will be absolutely vital to the future of the energy industry,” added Richard Randle-Boggis from the University of Sheffield. “Especially somewhere like the UK, where sustainable land use is a critical challenge.”

Plants and panels can exist in “symbiosis”

Agrivoltaic solar parks see photovoltaic (PV) panels spaced further apart to allow more sunlight to reach the ground, and raised higher in the air so that crops – or even small livestock such as lambs – can be reared underneath.

When arranged in the right way, studies have found this approach can actually offer compounding advantages such as shielding plants from excessive heat, cold and UV damage, thereby increasing the yield of certain crops.

One study found certain peppers will have three times the production,” said Bousselot. “That’s a shocking number.”

Continue reading.

Image by user6702303 on Freepik



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