Sunday, August 7, 2022

Could this be a solution to two climate change problems?

Solar Vineyard in France
Computer-stylized watercolour
©2022 Charlene Brown

Solar Agriculture, sometimes known as agrophotovoltaics, describes the use of land for both alternate (low-carbon) electricity generation and agriculture.

In some parts of Europe, 2% of agricultural land is allocated to the installation of solar photovoltaic panels.  Sometimes the panels are raised high enough to allow access for farm machinery. They are generally mounted in single-axis rotating arrays.

Research to determine what crops will maximize the efficiency of this dual use of the land has been ongoing for some years.   It has been found that grapes adapt well to cultivation under solar panel arrays, in fact they benefit from the intermittent shade provided during extremely hot days and the partial shelter on cold nights at the beginning and end of the growing season.