Agrivoltaics Becoming Multi-Billion Dollar Industry, Reveals IDTechEx
BOSTON, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One day solar "power stations" as we know them will be banned. On land and lake, no more blinding of large areas with black solar panels, throttling life. Substituting vast industrial desolation for a natural paradise or prime agriculture ruins tourism and the planet. It will become illegal or at least bad business because the new vertical photovoltaics boosts farming, obscures little and acts as a useful wind shield. Translucent or spaced photovoltaics on lakes and estuaries also lets things live again. Huge rooftop greenhouses in cities involve translucent solar glass providing power while boosting growth. Call the new synergy "agrivoltaics". New IDTechEx reports have the detail – "Smart Cities Market 2021-2041: Energy, Food, Water, Materials, Transportation Forecasts", "Materials Opportunities in Emerging Photovoltaics 2020-2040" and "Vertical Farming 2020-2030".
Fraunhofer ISE Germany research leverages farming with photovoltaics. Next2Sun's 4.1 MW agrivoltaics in Baden-Württemberg uses 11,000 vertical Jolywood n-type PERT solar panels over 15 hectares, each bifacial 380 W. PERT (Passivated Emitter Rear Totally Diffused) can be monofacial or bifacial, efficiency up to 25%. The 4,850 MWh/ year electricity will cost only 6 cents/ kWh. More such projects are lined up.
Next2Sun says, "The two active sides face east and west. The areas between the rows of modules can continue to be used for agriculture and the resulting flower strips provide space for the endangered insect world and many species of birds."
Flexible solar such as copper indium gallium diselenide CIGS is a multi-billion dollar success on city building facades because no strengthening is needed. Harmlessly, farmers could use it across walls and buildings, selling the power.
Scientists from KU Leuven, Flanders installed optimally semi-transparent solar panels above an orchard. "We want to know how we can harvest pears and electricity at the same time," says Professor Bram Van de Poel of the Biosystems Department. "Agrivoltaics are indispensable in the search for more sustainable energy. We are developing a calculation tool to predict the optimal yield under solar panels. Agrivoltaics must find the right balance between a profitable pear harvest and extra electricity. Energy must be sustainable and agricultural land must be cherished. Temperature is now higher at night, lower during day - good news for pears, which have been severely affected by global warming in recent years."