All over the world, there are more and more examples of agrivoltaics – a new sustainable solution that is gaining ground. Herbs and flowers are being grown at a photovoltaic park on mainland Greece. In Spain, artichoke and broccoli are sharing fields with solar panels. In Belgium, panels have been installed right on top of pear trees and sugar beets.
Pilot projects are popping up across Europe to shed light on how harvesting sunshine on farms could be a win-win for agriculture, especially small-scale farmers looking for ways to boost yields while using less energy and water.
According to the United Nations, the water-food-energy nexus is key to our societies being able to develop sustainably. Demand for all three is increasing, driven by a rising global population, rapid urbanisation, changing diets and economic growth. The United Nation’s data also reveals that the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources is now agriculture, and more than one-quarter of the energy used globally is expended on food production and supply.