Climate change is one of the serious dangers the future of humanity is facing. The 2 biggest factors in climate change are activities related to the agriculture industry and the use of fossil fuels because they both cause the release of greenhouse gases that bring about global warming. The solution is combining sustainable energy and agriculture through Agrovoltaics.
Agrovoltaics is a combination of agriculture and photovoltaic energy. It is a sustainable method to prevent the worsening of climate change through the installation of solar panels on farms. Continue reading to learn more about agrovoltaics.
What Agrovoltaic Energy Is
Agrovoltic energy or agrophotovoltaics means using the same land to harness solar power and agriculture products. Therefore, solar panels are built on the same surface where crops are grown. This method was introduced in 1981 by Adolf Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow. However, their idea did not become well-accepted until a decade ago.
The shade provided by the panels on the crops affects the crops’ productivity because they receive less light. Even though it is only beneficial to some crops, the production of energy compensates for this. Moreover, when solar power is utilized in farmlands, it also boosts the self-consumption of photovoltaic energy. That is because the energy requirements of farms are easily met by the power generated. Agrovoltaics is closely related to smart farming. Smart farming increases productivity through advancements such as the use of the internet, large data, and artificial intelligence. As a result, smart villages have become more developed.
Advantages of Agrovoltaics
One of the main benefits of agrovoltaics is it lessens the emissions of greenhouse gases from the agriculture industry. Also, the ecosystem benefits because the land is utilized both for harnessing energy and crops, so the pressure is relieved. Ecosystems and biodiversity are affected when there is an expansion of land for agriculture.
Research also indicates that the power generated by solar panels boosts the economic value of agrovoltaic farms by 30% more because of the efficient use of land and crops. Warm areas enjoy the benefit more because the solar panels can protect against overheating and too much evaporation on the crops.