France is starting to see an agrivoltaics increase across the country. TSE, a solar-energy firm, is currently experimenting in the Haute-Saône region to determine if it can produce solar energy without disrupting large crops. Initial experiments typically involved smaller projects. TSE has also started deploying 5,500 solar panels across the farm to see if it can thrive. This could lead to revolutionizing the agriculture and solar panel industries.
Overall, the goal is to reach France’s renewable energy development requirements without taking over the agricultural land. Doing so would then make it possible for farmers to continue growing food and shade the plants from climate change, including hot weather and droughts.
TSE’s solar panels can generate 2.5 mW during peak times, which is similar to the energy used up by 1,350 people. In addition, it plans to connect the panels to the grid in early December. While following the sun’s path, the panels move vertically, allowing rain to pass through. By installing these horizontally, they can also reduce hail damage and slightly increase or decrease the ground’s temperature based on weather conditions.
Broccoli is also being grown under solar panels by researchers from Chonnam National University in South Korea. These panels, placed two to three meters off the ground while positioned at a thirty-degree angle, shelter crops to help protect them against harsh weather. According to the team's study, the broccoli's taste and overall quality didn't change compared to conventional growing methods. Plus, the broccoli had a darker green color.
Kenya has also installed solar panels standing a few meters off the ground. These provide shade to keep crops protected against heat and water loss. As a result, rural farmers can grow a wide range of more valuable crops.
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