Harnessing Solar Power for Better Sustainability

It’s no secret that American energy companies are attempting to partner with landowners who will allow their land or even farms to be utilized – transformed, if you will – into solar power kingdoms. This, in turn, will produce an abundance of clean and renewable energy.

According to Anthropocene, “On a mere 1% of farmland, solar panels could provide 20% of US electricity.” That could be the breakthrough of a lifetime and exactly what the US and the world alike need to get back to a healthier state.

When it comes down to it, food production and sustainable energy production don’t have to fight for a place in an evolved 21st-century society. Agrivoltaics – a practice of installing solar panels above areas of farmland – may be our saving grace. The key is to expand renewable energy. And, according to research, by implementing agrivoltaics, the United States could immensely cut emissions while increasing employment opportunities. Our food and landscape could look drastically different in months, years and centuries to come.

And you’ve never heard of the word “agrivoltaics” before? You’d better get used to it. In layman’s terms, it means to join forces, to “make renewable energy better”, according to The University of Arizona.

“Part of it [agrivoltaics] is bringing a new dimension to community agriculture, but a big part of it is reaching into those rural landscapes where a simple idea like growing your plants under solar panels can solve important problems,” says Greg Barron-Gafford, Assistant Professor, UA School of Geography & Development.