With agrivoltaics ‘we don’t have to choose between solar power and producing food’

Academic research indicates solar panels don't compete with biomass for light and can help protect crops from impacts of climate change.

We need land for crops and to restore biodiversity, and land for renewable energy installations as the world weans itself off fossil fuels. At the same time, there’s never been so much pressure on global agriculture systems as climate change bites. Is there any way to reconcile these seemingly competing demands?

Putting solar panels on farmland, known as agrivoltaics, has been a bit of a political hot-potato in some parts of Europe and the U.S. For environmental engineer Chad Higgins, at Oregon State University, the choice between farmland and energy is a false one. There has to be thoughtful design, he says, but “our research indicates they can coexist and even create mutual benefits”.

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Source: Reuters

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