Agrivoltaic farming represents a watershed moment in agriculture and development. The concept combines agricultural land with solar panels to reap dual benefits. Experts in agrivoltaic solutions have highlighted several benefits of this system for farmers in recent years, such as protection against climate disruptions and risks. This brief article will define agrivoltaics and explain how they benefit irrigation.
What exactly is Agrivoltaic Farming?
Agrivoltaic systems combine agricultural crop production and photovoltaic power generation in the same area. Solar panels are placed on top of crops in a specific area. This has the added benefit of both agriculture and energy generation. Many people mistakenly believe that installing solar panels above growing crops will reduce growth due to excessive shade. This is only a possibility if the system is installed by inexperienced individuals.
While light is shared in agrivoltaic systems, the panels above the crops are kept at such a height that they create a sort of microclimate over the growing area. As a result, the product is more fresh. The plants require less water because evaporation losses are reduced.
Irrigation Benefits of Agrivoltaics
Farmers can benefit from agrivoltaics in a variety of ways, including low-cost energy generation and green or sustainable practices. In fact, once the initial panel installation is completed, solar power is practically free.
Agrivoltaic irrigation benefits include the following:
Irrigation is an essential component of agriculture. Solar power allows irrigation systems to be installed where commercial power infrastructure is unavailable, as long as there is solar light and a water source.
Irrigation in the Green
Another significant advantage of an agrivoltaic system is that farmers no longer have to rely on traditional irrigation systems that use gasoline or diesel. Instead, they can use renewable solar energy that does not contribute to environmental or noise pollution.
Renewable and easily accessible
One of the best aspects of solar energy is that it is completely renewable and available in areas with plenty of sunlight. Aside from irrigation, farmers can use energy for a variety of other purposes. In fact, larger farms can also sell excess energy. It is also a safer option when compared to other energy sources.
Farmers can have remote access to solar irrigation systems if they are automated. They can easily turn on and off the irrigation system remotely. They can also obtain real-time data on air temperature and soil humidity. However, as part of the project, the necessary software and hardware would have to be installed. This is a significant benefit for farmers who cannot be physically present in their fields at all times.
Solar panels generate energy even when irrigation is not required in fields. Farmers must not squander this energy. They can always provide electricity to other agricultural machinery, water purifiers, mills, and cooling units. This helps with additional income and rural development.
Several studies have found that agrivoltaic systems increase the value of a property. They boost resale value by making the property more appealing to buyers.