The rise of agrivoltaics

French farmers are combining large-scale crops with solar panels

Agrivoltaics is known as the practice of using land for both solar energy and agriculture; this phenomenon is now on the rise across France. In the Haute-Saône region, in the northeastern part of the country, an experiment is being conducted by solar-energy company TSE. It is hoping to find out whether solar energy can be generated without hindering large-scale cereal crops.

Previous attempts to experiment with agrivoltaics have been through smaller-scale projects. Now, 5,500 solar panels are being spread over this farm in the commune town of Amance by TSE. If successful, the crossover could be revolutionary for both the agricultural and solar panel industries.

Xavier Guillot, head of agronomy research and development at TSE: "The aim was to be able to meet France's needs in terms of renewable energy development, without pre-empting agricultural land. [This would] allow the continued development of agronomic and agricultural activities, in this case, in field crops as well as in livestock."

Guillot explains that the aim is to allow farmers to keep producing food while providing shade to protect crops from climate change - like the droughts and very hot weather seen this summer.


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