A few days ago, we described how solar panels on water channels can not only provide enormous amounts of energy, but also prevent water from evaporating. Today we have another example of such a “dual” application of this one of the most popular ways of obtaining energy from renewable energy, because Kenya is testing solar panels, which on the one hand are to help this country in generating energy, and on the other hand, to solve problems related to food security.
Aid for energy and agriculture. Full-scale agrovoltaic tests have already started
It will not be the first time that this type of application of solar panels will be tested, because the previous small-scale tests have yielded promising results. Will it also be like that in full scale? Let’s hope, because the manifestation of agrovoltaics is being tested here, i.e. the use of land intended for solar farms for farming on the same patch of land. In practice, it comes down to mounting the panels on a field where plants can be grown, with the difference that by placing panels close to each other and on the ground, they are installed at a height with specific spacing between them.
While shade on plants may appear to be a problem for plants, in fact plants have shown greater survival and better yields. Scientists attribute this to better coping with the stress that the sun’s heat puts on plants, because being placed in the shade alone protects plants from damage caused by high temperatures and ultraviolet radiation. The advantages of such a solution also affected the use of water for irrigation (they limited its consumption).
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Importantly, such an artificially generated favorable environment that is now available thanks to this solution can also be used for the cultivation of food crops that were previously unsuitable for growing in this area. Farmers can also choose higher value crops to increase their income.