For many people, solar power is seen as a threat to farming communities. That’s because they believe farmers must choose between raising crops or livestock and installing solar panels on their land. The Fraunhofer Institute has been conducting experiments in what it calls agrophotovoltaics (APV) for two years near Lake Constance, Germany. In the first year, it found the combination of solar and agriculture made the land 160% more productive than if it had been devoted exclusively to one or the other.
According to CleanTechnica news, 2108 was one of the hottest years yet in Europe, with the high temperatures having a negative affect on the yield from many farms. Yet Fraunhofer’s Lake Constance experimental farm thrived. The shading provide by the solar panels actually increased the harvest and the extra sunshine boosted electricity output as well. “Based on the 2018 potato yield, the land use efficiency rose to 186% per hectare with the APV system,” says Stephan Schindele of Fraunhofer ISE in a press release.
In the hot, dry summer of 2018, the soil moisture in the wheat crop was higher than the reference field. “We can assume that the shade under the semi-transparent solar modules enabled the plants to better endure the hot and dry conditions of 2018,” says the agricultural scientist Andrea Ehmann. ——————–***——————–
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Location: Lake Constance
Date: Apr 14, 2019 @ 09:23
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