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Farmers Getting Double Benefit with Solar Panels in Fields

Farmers Getting Double Benefit with Solar Panels in Fields

Everyone benefits from solar panels in fields — the farmers and the climate.

Karthaus, a German farmer, is growing berries under a solar roof with translucent modules. It turned out, this is particularly good for blueberries, raspberries, and woodland plants.

Because the Earth is getting warmer, summers are getting hotter and hotter. This affects the plants as well.

However, Karthaus found that berries grown under solar panels have increased yield. The plants grow better in the shade, and a solar module roof reduces evaporation, which ends up saving water.

According to DW, this system also generates electricity, specifically about 640,000kw a year. This is enough electricity for 160 households.

"It's a win-win situation for everyone. It means that we can generate green power locally, decentralized, where the energy is consumed," says Karthaus. In Germany, this method of cultivation works well for soft fruits, apples, cherries, potatoes, and produce such as tomatoes and cucumbers. In other regions of the world, differing plants and module designs might be more suitable.

This has great potential worldwide. Some agrivoltaic plants exist in Europe, but the majority of them are in Asia. The largest argivoltaic plant is in China. It covers 8 square miles and has a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

Let’s hope this will soon be implemented in the USA as well.

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