What is Agro-Volta Energy?

The use of fossil fuels is harming our planet. It is a reality that cannot be ignored and urgent change is imperative. Renewable energies are increasingly used. These apply to various productive sectors. Alone or combined with other systems. As with agro-volta energy.

Agro-voltaic energy
Image taken by Cuatro Cero – https://cuatro-cero.mx/noticias/agrovoltaica-energia-solar-desarrollo-y-agricultura-sostenible/

Alternative energy sources such as sun and wind are used more and more frequently. They are a good solution to the problem of climate change. That is why specialists try to perfect these energies in order to expand their uses.

What is Agro-Volta Energy?

Agro-voltaic uses solar energy with the practices of agriculture. In other words, solar power generation and agricultural techniques are combined in the same field. They get energy from solar panels to support agricultural activity.

Although the term agro-voltaic was born in 2011, the combination of solar energy with agriculture dates back to 1981. After many years of development, there are now, for example, photovoltaic greenhouses or pump systems for irrigation that use this type of energy.

The implementation of agro-voltaic energy is a fact in many countries

The requirements of a farm require extensive installation of solar panels. In other words, to generate enough photovoltaics, they need a large area. Land that cannot be used for cultivation.

However, if the surface is insufficient, solar panels can be installed on the roofs of buildings, silos, barns, and also in apartment buildings. In China they install solar panels on the roofs of greenhouses. There are agricultural areas in China that already have an agro-voltaic energy source.

Image from Leisa: https://www.leisa-al.org/web/index.php/lasnoticias/energias-alternativas/2972-energia-agrovoltaica-producir-electricidad-en-el-invernadero
Spain develops its own experiences

Spain is not far behind, in Las Corchas and Los Naranjos in Seville, solar energy and agriculture create added value for the community. Between the two agro-voltaic farms, they have a capacity of 100 MW and generate 202 GWh. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of a city with 30,000 inhabitants like Carmona.

The panels they use are bifacial because they generate energy on both sides. The installation was carried out two meters above the ground. This should not affect the circulation of animals that can get under the panels.

Photovoltaic modules help in the production of agricultural crops. They also favor the creation of suitable habitats for the Iberian bee. Primary problem as it is a protected species. This is the advantage of the fragrant activity of local producers. They also cultivate species in the region that these bees prefer, such as rosemary, thyme and lavender.

The main disadvantage of implementing agro-volta energy is the cost. The value of solar panels is high. The low profitability of farmers does not help either. The sum of both points is one of the greatest obstacles to the development and intensive use of this energy.

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