Solar Panels Plus Farming? Agrivoltaics Explained

laatste update: 08-2022


Solar panels plus farming? Agrivoltaics explained. Could combining solar panels plus farming be a viable solution to the growing demand for food production and energy demand? Let’s take a closer look at electrifying our crops (not literally electrifying crops) … well, adding solar to our farm land as well as some of the side benefits and challenges it creates.

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Dave Borlace’s Just Have a Think Agrivoltaics video:

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30 gedachten over “Solar Panels Plus Farming? Agrivoltaics Explained”

  1. Try in india, abundance of solar energy and this dual use will benefit both farming community and solar panel companies.

  2. I find it odd that people want cheaper energy and food, but they Don’t want the energy generation anywhere near them. They can’t have it Both ways.

  3. Comparing individual output of agro / solar farms is not exactly fair… if you were to have ALL arable land as agrivoltaics, how much food would you lose vs how much energy is generated?
    If that energy was used to grow food in artificial environments, would it offset the losses?

    Obviously there are a lot of ifs and buts in the above. As models can be ideal but people will not act as per model predictions. But that result might still be attractive enough to justify a switch/hybridization of agriculture.

    (I'd have loved to see how viable agrivoltaics could be in California, where I remember hearing that the water required for irrigation is dwindling and crops might find themselves in serious trouble… maybe a subject for a future video?)

  4. There are solar panel farm proposals in my area, the benefits seem to be to the shareholders of the company involved, nothing for the local community except for a couple of farmers who will receive a nominal rent on their land. The amount of concrete involved in the scheme(s) is absolutely frightening. Concrete pollutes the atmosphere in its production and is an issue in topsoil. Environmental groups have already raised issues about the net loss of useful agricultural land and the slow contamination of topsoil on land that could potentially remain in use. In the meantime new houses are built without panels, retail parks with massive car parks, motorways and railways untouched, brown field sites under-utilised, retail and industrial building without solar panels. Agrivoltaics should be for businesses that use extensive greenhouses or polythene frost protection. When we need to maximize land usage the comment about minimal land loss is just a throw away line, 3-10% is not acceptable when land is also being lost to urbanisation. Perhaps if some countries looked closely at their diet we could help the environment, beef farming is wasteful and damaging as is pig and poultry production. The piece shows its bias when the first issue you raise is NIMBYism. The first issue is investment. rich countries invest untold billions in weapons and research into better ways to kill people, allow tax havens which eat up huge amounts of money that could be used to invest in 'green' technology.

  5. Heat pumps are a fantastic way to go. They make use of low grade heat in the environment which is always difficult to harness. Not only that they serve to cool the environment, even if it’s only by a tiny amount, while doing work for humans.

  6. Palm oil should be stopped, there are no benefits to humans, as well as cotton seed oil, rape seed oil, canola oil and a slew of other seed oils which adulterate our processed food and create obesity and illness in humans.

  7. CIAL is doing agri-voltaic farming successfully since 2015. CIAL airport is the first airport to run fully on solar energy.

  8. great presentation. I have been working yard scale pv projects using solar generated power. watching your video has given me new ideas

  9. A couple of thoughts on the raspberry farming you showed.
    I live in WA state which produces about 95% of the nation's raspberries (at least according to the google oracle). Grew up here and have never seen any farmer cover them in plastic. So I'm guessing that is something more specific to the climate in the area shown in your video.
    Second was comments about saving labor due to not having to deal with the plastic. Where I live, most of the berries are harvested by a picking machine. They appeared to be harvesting by hand and the setup shown looked too low for a berry picker. That adds a lot of labor. Machine picking requires a LOT less labor and gives greater yield because you can go back over the field in a few days to get the ones that were not yet ripe. Something that isn't worth bothering doing when picking by hand.

  10. I feel you're out of touch living in the city vs those on farms. No way you could run a typical farming operation with the solar panels.

  11. This is a brilliant initiative. If governments subsidise solar panels used for agrivoltaics it could provide incredible benefits as a way to use agriculture and energy production from the same limited space, and farmers can clearly benefit from allowing agrivoltaics if they match specific crops to their solar panel use and local environment. With land for agriculture being so in need, this could really solve two issues at once.

    Furthermore, with our climate getting hotter, solar panels could be used strategically (placed very high up) to shade and conserve water use by trees or even parts of forests. With wide and sturdy poles, they could also be used to shade these large grazing animals too. There are some great applications here.

  12. I am planning on doing this out in my pasture at some point. Just mounting the panels high on a pole… they will provide shade for the animals… but enough light to keep growing grass.

    100% Grass-fed beef does not require irrigation, oil-based fertilizers, tilling, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. I will use small mobile watering points and electricity though.

  13. SOLAR PANELS R BAD OVER CROPS & HOUSES. IT PUTS OFF DIRTY ELECTRIC. REMEMBER HOW PEOPLE LIVING UNDER OR NEAR POWER LINES DEVELOPED CANCER??? SAME THING!!! SORRY ALL CAPS CAN'T C SMALL LETTERS ON KEYBOARD

  14. You can actually use the Thermal waste from the breakdown of biological matter in risospheres to generate small amounts of electricity. At scale this could be part of a larger energy harvesting ecosystem used to further increase operational efficiency and robustness

  15. Some utility companies have programs for solar panels for residential use. Maybe something like this would be a good alternative for those who have an acre or two that they grow a small garden on, and the energy could still go toward reducing the homeowner's power bill. Of course it would be on a smaller scale but that shouldn't be a problem.

  16. мне тоже кажется правильным использовать площадь под солнечными батареями для выращивания каких либо культур как говорится сочетать приятное с полезным

  17. можно еще под батареями строить недорогое жилье для рабочего персонала желающих подзаработать

  18. A few questions. I actually have a fish farm in Africa and am looking more into Solar panels.

    One. What is the ROI for the panels? And what is the cost to maintain and replace?.

    Two. What is the life cycle of the panels? Where do they go after they are damaged? Can they be repaired or do they just end up being thrown into a land fill? Looking for real data not opinion.

    I'm fully behind going green but many ideas don't look at the full life cycle of everything used.

    Merci

  19. I think this is a brilliant idea. We need to stop looking at solutions strictly based on the economic impact. This seems to be a beautifully synergistic system which addresses several different problems especially, as you said, in hot arid regions (like California where I'm at). I feel like the economic challenge is probably the hardest to overcome as land and labor is quite expensive but I would imagine that there are many energy co-ops and well as municipal power companies that would be able to find willing farmers though many will have to learn to grow crops that thrive in shadier conditions. Hay and fruit/nut crops are huge out here and those wouldn't tolerate that much shade. However, I think this is an idea that could really make a difference out here becuase water is pretty scarce in the summer as well, so reducing water usage is another huge benefit. Also, just thought of this: I know that dust/dirt significantly affects the efficiency of solar panels and trying to keep them clean has created a problem of high water use in arid areas. Letting the water used to clean the solar panels then water the crops underneath seems like another win-win.

  20. A large part of south east Spain (around Almería) is basically one big greenhouse these days. They would benefit from agrivoltaics because the land is already covered and used for food production. Doubly so now that the Spanish government have removed their monumentally dumb laws that taxed people more for installing solar panels.

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