Balancing the need between cultivation and energy production
Mar 14, 2022
One of the challenges in our business is related to the vast amount of land needed if all the energy that we currently consume was to be powered by solar PV and wind. While the solution to this equation is not a simple one, European Energy understands that integrating agriculture and green energy production can be part of the answer.
In 2021, we have worked on three different solutions of Agri-PV, a contraction of Agri-culture and Photovoltaics. They each have their unique advantages and result in different outcomes regarding the balance between energy yield and cultivation:
- Livestock combined with fixed tilts
- Traditional crops cultivation and horizontal axis trackers
- Crops in greenhouses combined with solar panels
The solution where we combine livestock with fixed tilt solar panels provides the most optimized energy production, while allowing animals to graze underneath and between the panels. This is the easiest solution to develop and implement, while it also requires a low level of maintenance.
With the traditional cultivation and solar panels on horizontal axis trackers, there would be a balanced level between agricultural yield and energy production. This ensures an optimal use of the farmland and can support ecological and local food production. It requires ongoing maintenance, thus ensures local job opportunities.
The same advantages seen with the traditional cultivation solution will apply to having crops developed in greenhouses that are combined with solar PV parks. European Energy is currently in the test phase of having a project with this setup in Denmark.