Solar panels could possibly be used to enhance crop manufacturing, in line with new analysis. A collaboration between the University of Sheffield, World Agroforestry, and Latia Agripreneurship Instituten primarily based in Kajiado, Kenya, has discovered potential in preliminary checks. The undertaking confirmed elevated agricultural manufacturing on land the place photo voltaic panels had been used to supply cowl for the crops.
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While photo voltaic panels getting used to generate electrical energy just isn’t new to Kenya, the concept of utilizing photo voltaic panels for agricultural manufacturing is. The agrivoltaics method permits customers to reap photo voltaic power twice. This power is utilized by crops and for producing energy for use in properties.
According to the researchers behind the research, cabbage planted below the panels grew a 3rd greater than these planted in managed plots with the identical quantities of fertilizer and water. Researchers additionally planted aubergine and lettuce, which additionally confirmed promising outcomes.
Judy Wairimu, an agronomist on the Latia Agripreneurship Instituten, says that the experiment’s findings are promising. “We wanted to see how crops would perform if grown under these panels,” mentioned Wairimu. “Doubling up the output of the same patch of earth to generate power and cultivate food can go a long way towards helping people with limited land resources.”
Dr. Richard Randle-Boggis of the University of Sheffield provides that this preliminary undertaking can assist information the potential of agrivoltaics in East Africa. “We needed to build a test system to see if this technology will be suitable for the region,” Randle-Boggis mentioned.
The agrovoltaic photo voltaic panels are erected three meters from the bottom, offering enough room for the farmer to work. Researchers say that the panels will be elevated for giant farms the place giant equipment is required. The system affords a substitute for areas the place the adoption of greenhouses has been a problem.
Solar power has potential that’s but to be totally utilized in Africa. While Randle-Boggis acknowledges that the system has its shortcomings, agrivoltaics may assist “areas of Kenya which are not currently suitable for horticulture.”
Via The Guardian
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