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Installing solar panels on agricultural lands maximizes efficiency and crop yields

A study, in the journal Scientific Reports, finds that if less than 1% of agricultural land was converted to solar panels, it would be sufficient to fulfill global electric energy demand. In previous research by the same authors, they showed that solar panels could increase crop yields on dry, unirrigated farmland. And, a separate study concluded that solar panels would also work well on irrigated fields due to less drought stress and reduced watering requirements.

The solar panels also benefit from the cooler environment created by evaporation from the crops. There is a huge potential for solar and agriculture (“agrivoltaics) to work together – a win-win for our food, water, and energy supplies.

To read the study abstract go to: Solar PV Power Potential is Greatest Over Croplands by Elnaz H. Adeh, Stephen P. Good, M. Calaf, and Chad W. Higgins, published 7 August 2019.

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