Sunenergy System

Discover Agrovoltaics: The Future of Agriculture and Energy

Agrovoltaic Energy: A Solution for Climate Change and Agriculture

Climate change demands urgent action. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, photovoltaic solar energy is an effective short, medium, and long-term solution. However, solar panels require a lot of space and will likely need more in the future.

In addition, climate change is affecting agriculture due to rising temperatures, decreased rainfall, and desertification risk. Greenhouses and structures providing shade are necessary to protect crops. So, why not combine both solutions to address both problems?

Agrovoltaic energy: combining solar energy and agriculture for a sustainable future. The idea is to install solar panels in agricultural fields, allowing for better use of space and protection for crops from extreme weather.

Here are some of its advantages:

  • Protection from excessive heat: the shade from solar panels protects crops from high temperatures and adverse weather conditions.
  • Reduction in evaporation and increased soil moisture: shade from the panels reduces water loss through evaporation, and up to 29% water can be saved.
  • Contribution to the environment: agrovoltaics contribute to biodiversity conservation and reduce herbicide usage. It also allows for integration of crops with animal breeding and grazing.
  • Improvement in electricity production: a study by Oregon State University found that solar panel performance increases by up to 10% due to the cooling effect caused by plant evaporation.

Performance of energy increases with bifacity and followers

Bifacial cells, thanks to their ability to produce energy from different angles, improve energy efficiency. When combined with solar followers, the photovoltaic plant can increase its production by 20-30% compared to traditional fixed mounting systems.

Followers, moving in sync with the sun, maximize electrical production. When fixed in position at night, they also act as a wind shield for crops. With these technologies, land is better utilized for electricity generation.

In addition to fixed or followed solar panels, there is also the alternative of “solar greenhouses“. Here, the roof of the structure supports the solar panels, allowing for greater control of conditions and the possibility of using the surface for hydroponic crops.

According to a study by OSU, combining only 1% of the world’s agricultural land with solar energy production would be enough to meet global electricity demand, a valuable opportunity we must consider.