Agrivoltaics refers to farming techniques that use the same land area for both solar power and agriculture. Specifically, solar power and agriculture are combined in a way that’s designed to improve the performance of both.
Here’s how it works: once a plant reaches its light saturation point, additional light doesn’t help the plant grow. In fact, excess sunlight increases the plant’s water demand.
With agrivoltaic farming, solar panels are mounted in an elevated position just above the plants.
This way, the crops get just the right amount of sunlight. Then, they spend the rest of the day under the panels’ shade.
Additionally, the crops underneath keep the solar panels cooler, which increases a solar panel’s energy production capacity by up to 10%.
Agrivoltaic is part of the Regenerative Agriculture meta trend.
Searches for “regenerative agriculture” have increased by 658% over the last five years.
Regenerative agriculture is an approach that aims to not just limit damage but actually improve agriculture’s impact on the environment.
Implementing regenerative agriculture on 190,000 acres of farmland can remove around 173,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly (the equivalent of yearly emissions from over 37,000 cars).
Plus, early data suggests that regenerative agriculture can be profitable over the long term.
For instance, one study showed that a $57B investment in regenerative agriculture practices would return $1.9T in savings and increased farmers’ profit.
The Ocean Ranch, The Crop Project and Phinite are examples of trending startups developing regenerative agriculture products/technologies.