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Agrophotovoltaics, Agriphotovoltaics, Solar Sharing

by gmoke Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 08:13:46 PM EST

Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has been doing "agrophotovoltaics" studies for the last few years, the concept of producing both crops and solar power on the same land.  Their 2018 study results are available here: https:/www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/press-releases/2019/agrophotovoltaics-hight-harvesting- yield-in-hot-summer-of-2018.html

"The results from 2017 showed a land use efficiency of 160 percent, as confirmed by the project consortium under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The performance of the agrophotovoltaic system in the very hot summer of 2018 greatly exceeded this value."

Fraunhofer is also doing tests of solar panels over shrimp ponds in Vietnam:

https:www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/news/2019/aqua-pv-project-shrimps-combines-aquaculture- and-photovoltaics.html

They show similar results there, too, possibly even better as the solar shading is more conducive to shrimp growth.  If there are any applicable aquaculture facilities in your state, there might be some solar opportunities available there too.

What Fraunhofer calls agrophotovoltaics the Japanese call  "solar sharing" and have been doing since at least 2004:

https:www.renewableenergyworld.com/2013/10/10/japan-next-generation-farmers-cultivate-agriculture- and-solar-energy

"The concept was originally developed by Akira Nagashima in 2004, who was a retired agricultural machinery engineer who later studied biology and learned the "light saturation point." The rate of photosynthesis increases as the irradiance level is increased; however at one point, any further increase in the amount of light that strikes the plant does not cause any increase to the rate of photosynthesis....

"Based on the tests conducted at his solar testing sites in Chiba Prefecture, he recommends about 32% shading rate for a farmland space to reach adequate growth of crops. In other words, there is twice as much empty space for each PV module installed."

UMass Amherst is working on this concept as well with outreach to farmers through a state program:


Mother Jones article on this idea:

https:www.motherjones.com/food/2019/09/the-best-place-for-harvesting-solar-energy-is-not-where-i-e xpected-it-to-be

Paper from Nature Sustainability the article references


There should be no competition between active farmland and solar development.  When done correctly, solar can become a lucrative second "crop" for farmers while maintaining and, in some cases, increasing agricultural productivity.

More agrophotovoltaics, agrivoltaics, solar sharing?
. yes 100%
. no 0%
. not no 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and no 0%
. don't understand the question? 0%
. none of the above 0%

Votes: 3
Results | Other Polls
There is a proposal in Colorado to implement "battery sharing."

"Solar panel sharing" is already in play, under this definition: homeowners buy shares in centralized solar panel installations so that the infrastructure is not on the roof of their house. Assuming that the local consumer-level grid is sufficiently robust against failure due to weather or equipment, advantages are that the centralized site is managed by experts, can be upgraded without disrupting the house, can be shared more easily if needed, can be optimally located, etc. This is pretty popular.

Battery sharing is a comparable idea, where homeowners buy shares in centralized battery installations so that the infrastructure is not in their garage. Similar arguments apply.

Colorado Springs is in the process of constructing a 25 MW battery system that will provide cost-efficient power during demand peaks. An associated proposal, still in the works, is to offer battery sharing.

by asdf on Sat Sep 21st, 2019 at 03:50:58 PM EST
Lots of possibilities.  Little general understanding of them.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Sun Sep 22nd, 2019 at 10:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One advantage of solar arrays in desert areas is that they provide micro-climates that can be helpful. In the Mojave they have been helpful to conservation of desert tortoises.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 at 02:23:39 AM EST
The benefits of switching to renewables rather than burning fossil foolishness abound.  Considering the effects of such development can be extremely beneficial for biomes and ecologies all around the world as well as help to preserve species diversity, including that greedy homo sap sap (the sap).

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 at 03:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'How dare you,'  Greta Thunberg tells world leaders
"All you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 at 05:22:51 PM EST
We need to think about qualitative rather than quantitative growth for our economic possibiities.  Greta is right and her anger is as pointed as a rapier, justifiably.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 04:52:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suggest reading "Uninhabitable Earth" for a roundup of the expected consequences of climate change. Based on the scientific information that Greta refers to, the situation is much worse than most people comprehend.
by asdf on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 05:41:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suggest these resources for how to proceed to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, quickly and without more ecological damage:
https://www.crcpress.com/Geotherapy-Innovative-Methods-of-Soil-Fertility-Restoration-Carbon-Sequestr ation/Goreau-Larson-Campe/p/book/9781466595392

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 07:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a technical problem.

And it's not a financial problem, either. Estimates for achieving 100% renewable power and/or zero net carbon emissions vary all over the place, but somewhere in the region of $1T to $10T seems mainstream.

The US deficit for 2020 is over $1T, largely due to recent changes to the tax code. The cost so far for our wars in the Middle East since 9/11 is roughly $6T.

We could raise $10T all by ourselves if there were popular and political will.

by asdf on Thu Sep 26th, 2019 at 09:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
USA spends about $661 billion per year on petroleum, natural gas, and coal and IMF (those Commies!) say USA spends $649 billion per year to subsidize that fossil foolishness.  That's $1.2 trillion every year right there.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 at 07:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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