Agrivoltaics, an approach, a solution, a Rural Business Model or a key missing piece

agrivoltaics

Our 2020 feed starts with a Solar Hybrid solution called Agrivoltaics or AgroPhotovoltaics. This is an approach to install solar PV panels at farms. The panels are mounted above the crops “at a certain height” and “with gaps between the solar modules for photosynthesis”. 

This would lead to “higher revenue” for farmers & one of the solutions to “high land-usage footprint” of solar energy. Many believe that the PV energy sector has become a threat to farming communities due to land-use footprint. That’s only when the choice is between raising crops or livestock and carpeting the land with solar panels. What if you could mix the 2 worlds ??? 

It gets even more interesting, as an experiment conducted by Fraunhofer ISE near Lake Constance in Germany shows that the combination of farming and solar power is 186% more efficient. In addition to this, a research from University of Arizona also shows that shaded plants under solar panels, cool the back of panels & therefore increasing its power generation efficiency. 

There are a lot of agricultural lands in the world and if solar PVs are installed on ONLY 1% of agricultural lands globally, it will be sufficient to supply global electricity demand (Solar PV Power Potential is Greatest Over Croplands, 2019). Although 30 years old, there is still a huge scope for technical and optimization developments in this field of technology. Agrivoltaics could be a key piece in the puzzle of local food & energy security together with zero carbon farming. If so governments need to pay attention to their subsidy policies to help this sector to go renewable. 

Read more about this technology in our guest author article from Santhan Reddy Penaka.

We have also reported a conference regarding the topic of agrivoltaics on August 26-28, 2020 in Perpignan, France.

Agrivoltaics
Agrivoltaics, Mxing the world of farming & Solar PV power production

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Source: @Solar_Edition
Photo: @Solar_Edition