Agrivoltaics Becoming Multi-Billion Dollar Industry, Reveals IDTechEx - Seite 2
Half of the surface of Belgium consists of agricultural land. Can it double as solar? Europe is allocating budgets for agrivoltaics. HyPErFarm is a 5.1 million euro project started in November. Marleen Gysen, energy expert at Innovation Support, nods: "Agricultural land is too scarce and too fertile to be used solely for solar panels. That is why the sector is very curious about the benefits of agrivoltaics. They can increase farmers' income security and protect crops against frost or sunburn."
In the US, Soliculture makes greenhouses with smart glass optimizing both growth and electricity output. Just as some regions ban new buildings without solar, could new greenhouses without solar be forbidden?
There is a rush into ugly floating photovoltaics because cooling silicon increases efficiency and land area is limited. A 2018 World Bank report on floating solar on hydropower impounds and water reservoirs concluded is at least 400GW. With coastal and open-sea build-out, the market would be "enormous", said DNV GL. However, San Francisco Bay shuns it because of the effect on marine life.
Benign versions are needed. The largest project is 150MW in Anhui, China. Soon comes a 1GW plant in India and 2.9GW off South Korea. The largest floating solar array outside China is BayWa's 27.4MW Netherlands project. Beauty, access and wildlife are not always a priority as the rush extends to 'high wave' floating PV with several projects being developed for open-sea sites weathering winds of up to 62 knots, waves over five meters. However, this must not add to cities killing the sea that is increasingly near to them with rising sea levels. They already do this with untreated sewerage, salt from desalination plants, chemicals from factories, leisure activities, marine vessels and farm runoff of toxins and fertilizer. Instead, they must farm the sea and maintain biodiversity while creating benign marine tourism and leisure activities. Plants and fish could be protected by spaced and vertical solar. Intelligently designed floatavoltaics with the new materials can even leverage aquaculture, not kill it.