10 SEPTIEMBRE 2020

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Agrivoltaic energy: How to maximize the yields from a single space

Agrovoltaic Energy Field

The renewable energy sector is constantly changing and evolving. One of the most important outcomes of working in this sector is that new updates are constantly appearing that can boost the innate capabilities of the sector. This is the case with agrivoltaic energy.

Agrivoltaic energy is the sum of photovoltaic energy and agriculture, in other words, the construction of an elevated photovoltaic solar power system on cultivated land.

In fact, this concept which seems such a novelty is not so new. This idea was birthed when arid lands were used for the construction of photovoltaic energy farms and it was discovered that the water needed for cleaning the panels also served to turn this land, arid in itself, into potentially fertile soil. Research was made on the possible use of this “land” for cultivating agave (a plant that needs little, but regular, amount of water to survive).

Agrivoltaic power plants provide an answer to the inconvenience of large power plants that “steal” agricultural space from farmers, which besides producing clean energy for the surroundings, they also improve land use, reduce the water consumption of agricultural land, and become, for farmers, the perfect opportunity for a new source of income.

Current studies indicate that these types of solar structures cannot be applied to large-scale single-crop farming, given that they require specific machinery for their development, and the installation of large panels would in fact make it impossible for these machines to enter. However, the first results show that in warm areas and with long-term crops, the implementation of agrivoltaic energy achieves good results in the yield of these crops.

There is no doubt that Photovoltaic Solar Power Systems are here to stay and can coexist perfectly with our way of life.

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