There are two main goals our society will need to accomplish in the future. The first is to provide enough food for the world’s growing population, and the second is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy. Integrating renewable tech with agriculture could help us overcome both challenges at the same time.
Agrivoltaics, a term used to describe “a way of fusing food with clean-energy production”, consists of installing solar panels on farmland. Solar panels installed above plants keep moisture in the soil and make food production possible in dry and hot regions, while producing clean energy. At the same time, agrivoltaic farms increase land use efficiency. The benefits of agrivoltaic farms have already been recognised, and this type of farm is emerging across the world. For instance, Japan alone has around 1,000 agrivoltaic farms.
How could combining renewable energy with agriculture revolutionise the way we grow food and produce energy?
The growth of the global population could lead to a food crisis. But that’s not our only problem. To help our planet, we need to replace highly polluting fossil fuels with renewable energy. Instead of planting food and installing solar panels on separate land, farmers can now combine the two and use the same land for both activities. These agrivoltaic systems will produce food and clean energy at the same time.