As it turns out, land that is great for farming is also great for #Solar power. So is it a good idea? And if so, how to best combine the two?
Researchers at OSU investigated...
"“There’s an old adage that agriculture can overproduce anything,” Chad Higgins, an associate professor in OSU’s college of agricultural sciences, said in a statement. “That’s what we found in electricity, too. It turns out that 8,000 years ago, farmers found the best places to harvest solar energy on Earth.”
The setup, known as both “agrivoltaics” or “agrophotovoltaics,” has been shown in previous research as a more efficient way of using the same farmland. It could benefit crops and provide power for both the farm itself and the broader community."
So what is the drawback? Too much sun, ironically. :)
"They used this data to produce a model of how solar panels work in heat. Essentially, the cooler the better.
“As the conditions became more humid, the panels did worse,” Higgins said in the statement. “Solar panels are just like people and the weather, they are happier when it’s cool and breezy and dry.”
Higgins and his team then took that data and compared it with World Bank data about global energy demands, placed at 21 petawatt-hours. Crop lands, the data found, could offer 28 watts of energy per square meter as a median average. That would enable less than one percent of cropland to power the world."
"Solar installations in the United States are expected to double in the next four years, reaching four million by 2023. Prices have also dropped to outstrip coal in most areas of the country."
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