Agrivoltaics can mitigate effects of drought


From pv magazine Germany

Agrivoltaics can mitigate the effects of drought on plant-based food production, according to a new study. While shading often reduces crop yields when there is sufficient water, it can actually lead to increased yields during dry phases, as plants benefit from less evaporation, according to “How to reconcile renewable energy and agricultural production in a drying world,” which was recently published in Plants, People, Planet.

The stabilising effect of agrivoltaics on crop yields has been deemed promising by researchers, particularly in regions with population growth and pronounced droughts like India or Africa, as well as in Europe, where longer dry periods are expected due to climate change. However, additional research is needed to determine the most suitable plants for different systems.

Current studies indicate that most crops tolerate shading up to 15% without significant yield loss, with berries, fruiting crops, and some vegetables benefiting from shading. Leafy vegetables, tubers, root crops, and certain cereals experience minimal yield reduction.

In addition, investigating plant-based stress signals for real-time control of panel orientation and shading could contribute to the development of intelligent agrivoltaic systems, according to the scientists.

Author: Petra Hannen

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