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Agri & Gardening agrivoltaics  food  water  energy at its best | Upload General

Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best

by: Yvonne Doff
agrivoltaics  food  water  energy at its best | Upload

Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford.

Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best

Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving, and the efficiency of electricity production.

Solar Sharing Is Agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy, and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy.

Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels?

Recommended: Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden

There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability.

Solar panels above a agricultural field

Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy

Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs, and kale all in the shadow.

"So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels.

Recommended: Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3)



                                                  Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy
                                                                             Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics


Agrivoltaic Research: Measure The Crops

With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season.

During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimeters. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants, and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation.

The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction:

  • air temperature
  • direct sunlight
  • the demand for water

In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperatures opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity.

Beneficial For: Food, Water, And Energy

They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss.

The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production.

Recommended: Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only

There is not only beneficial to the plants but also energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups.

The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture.

Recommended: Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity

Agrivoltaics, solar panels above the crops

Agrivoltaic And Climate Change

There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for farm labor. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity.

Before you go!

Recommended: Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture, And Food

Do you like this article about agrivoltaics, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day.

Like to write and publish your article about growing food or solar energy?
Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage.'

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Emmanuel - 1 WEEK AGO
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I would love to engage with this program organisers to explore research and development opportunities in Agrivoltaic applications in Nigeria. I can be reached via email or telephone/WhatsApp on +2348063615391. Thank you
Reply
Hans - 1 WEEK AGO
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Dear Emmanuel,

Thanks for your comment.

Below you can find a list of links from agrivoltaics projects.

Good luck with your enterprise.

Kind regards,

Hans van der Broek

Barron-Gafford et al. September 2019. Agrivoltaics provide mutual benefits across the food–energy–water nexus in drylands.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0364-5

Bellini, Emiliano. June 2020. Agrivoltaics works better with leafy greens, root crops.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/06/08/agrivoltaics-works-better-with-leafy-greens-root-crops/

Bellini, Emiliano. September 2020. Giant agrivoltaic project in China.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/09/03/giant-agrivoltaic-project-in-china/

Freehill-Maye, Lynn. August 2020. Sheep, ag and sun: Agrivoltaics propel significant reductions in solar maintenance costs.
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/sheep-ag-and-sun-agrivoltaics-propel-significant-reductions-in-solar-main/581879/

Hanley, Steve. January 2020. Agrovoltaics Could Help Calm Fears About Renewables For Iowa Farmers.
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/01/21/agrovoltaics-could-help-calm-fears-about-renewables-for-iowa-farmers/

NREL. September 2019. Benefits of Agrivoltaics Across the Food-Energy-Water Nexus.
https://www.nrel.gov/news/program/2019/benefits-of-agrivoltaics-across-the-food-energy-water-nexus.html

Petrova, Veselina. March 2020. Total Quadran to pursue solar agrivoltaic development with InVivo.
https://renewablesnow.com/news/total-quadran-to-pursue-solar-agrivoltaic-development-with-invivo-689759/

Rollet, Catherine. March 2020. European agrivoltaics.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/03/20/european-agrivoltaics/

Rollet, Catherine. May 2020. France embraces solar with viticulture, arboriculture and market gardening.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/05/28/france-embraces-solar-with-viticulture-arboriculture-and-market-gardening/

Spaes, JoëL. April 2020. France awards 960 MW of solar through different tenders.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/04/02/france-tenders-960-mw-of-solar/

Stacy Pigott, September 2019. Agrivoltaics proves mutually beneficial across food, water, energy nexus.
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-agrivoltaics-mutually-beneficial-food-energy.html

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Rahul - 2 WEEKS AGO
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I am from UK and plan to setup a small agrivoltaic farm on 1 acre to grow ginger. I am new in this field but this article sounds very interesting. If anyone has the expertise and wants to start a 50-50 joint venture, please get in touch at yadav.uk
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Giovanni Robertino illidge - 3 WEEKS AGO
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I am Giovanni illidge I will like a bisniss plan for Agrivoltaics but for a small island name Sxm. I have many property in St maarten Dutch side and also at the French side can you help me start this concept in to the Caribbean am looking for sustainable energy and food my cell +1721 527 9522. I love this idea. If any one can just help me start or join Ventures please call me or email me.
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Ajay - 3 WEEKS AGO
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Just came across your article on AgriVoltaics. You have just seen the "tip of... the tip... of the tip" of this huge "iceberg".
As you can see it's impact on Agriculture is minimal and can actually BENEFIT Agriculture throughout the world as it ties all three basic needs... Energy, Food and Water together.
AgriVoltaics can replace ALL its Fossil, Nuclear and other Polluing Fuels, Clean The Air/Environment and restore the Health of Mankind, Forests as well as Animals and Wild Life around the Globe, by using less than 10% of it's EXISTING (15Million km2) Agricultural Land.... around the Globe.
Such an AgriVoltaics System on 1Million km2 of Farmland would be 150TW in Size and Generate 225,000TWhrs/yr... while producing the same or more Food and save Evaporative Losses too.... on the same land and at the same Time.
Like I said earlier..... you ain't seen ANYTHING yet.... once we look up & realize that we have a huge Nuclear Fusion Reactor... known as The Sun... Delivering, in every nook and corner of the Earth, all the Energy we need and AgriVoltaics to harness it.
Just for your information, such a System will require an Investment (not Expenditure... as it generates Revenue by sale of Electricity) of $200 Trillion (not including conversion of Polluting Industries to Solar Electricity) and remove the Curse of The, 200 Year Old, Industrial Age..... POLLUTION.
Remember this Pollution Annually results in 8.3 Million (one every four seconds) Pre-Mature Deaths and 275 Million DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years) of Human Suffering. I am sure, you can Calculate the Health-n-Death Costs and Benefits from this Alone!!
Best of luck.... as I said... you ain't seen ANYTHING yet....
Reply

Writer, traveller and dreamer. Love to write, like to travel. Passion for language, cultures and what happens in the world. 

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Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best

Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford. Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving, and the efficiency of electricity production. Solar Sharing Is Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy, and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy. Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels? Recommended:  Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability. Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs, and kale all in the shadow. "So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) {youtube}                                                   Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy                                                                              Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaic Research: Measure The Crops With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season. During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimeters. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants, and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation. The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction: air temperature direct sunlight the demand for water In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperatures opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity. Beneficial For: Food, Water, And Energy They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss. The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production. Recommended:  Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only There is not only beneficial to the plants but also energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups. The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture. Recommended: Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity Agrivoltaic And Climate Change There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for farm labor. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture, And Food Do you like this article about agrivoltaics, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write and publish your article about growing food or solar energy? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations