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Solar Sharing for Both Food and Clean Energy Production: Performance of Agrivoltaic Systems for Corn, A Typical Shade-Intolerant Crop

1
GSAIS, Kyoto University, Yoshida-nakaadachi, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8306, Japan
2
CHO Institute of Technology, Higashi-monzen, Kawasaki 210-0812, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6060065
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine the performance of agrivoltaic systems, which produce crops and electricity simultaneously, by installing stilt-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels on farmland. As PV power stations enjoy remarkable growth, land occupation with the purpose of establishing solar farms will intensify the competition for land resources between food and clean energy production. The results of this research showed, however, that the stilt-mounted agrivoltaic system can mitigate the trade-off between crop production and clean energy generation even when applied to corn, a typical shade-intolerant crop. The research was conducted at a 100-m2 experimental farm with three sub-configurations: no modules (control), low module density, and high module density. In each configuration, 9 stalks/m2 were planted 0.5 m apart. The biomass of corn stover grown in the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control configuration by 4.9%. Also, the corn yield per square meter of the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control by 5.6%. The results of this research should encourage more conventional farmers, clean energy producers, and policy makers to consider adopting stilt-mounted PV systems, particularly in areas where land resources are relatively scarce. View Full-Text
Keywords: agrivoltaic systems; stilt-mounted photovoltaic panels; shade-intolerant crops agrivoltaic systems; stilt-mounted photovoltaic panels; shade-intolerant crops
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Sekiyama, T.; Nagashima, A. Solar Sharing for Both Food and Clean Energy Production: Performance of Agrivoltaic Systems for Corn, A Typical Shade-Intolerant Crop. Environments 2019, 6, 65.

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