New research from the University of Hohenheim shows that shading from photovoltaic systems can improve agricultural yields, especially during dry periods, but more research is needed.
Agrivoltaics can mitigate the effects of drought on plant-based food production, according to new research. Although shading often reduces yields when water is sufficient, it can actually lead to increased yields during dry phases because plants benefit from less evaporation, according to the recently published “How to Reconcile Renewable Energy and Agricultural Production in a Drier World.” published Plants, people, planet.
Researchers have considered the stabilizing effect of agricultural electricity on crop products to be particularly promising in areas of population growth and severe drought, such as India or Africa, as well as in Europe, where longer dry periods are expected due to climate change. However, further research is needed to determine the most suitable plants for different systems.
Current research shows that most plants can tolerate shading up to 15% without significant yield loss, and berries, fruit crops and some vegetables benefit from shading. Leafy greens, tubers, root vegetables and certain grains deteriorate only slightly.
In addition, studying plant-derived stress signals for real-time control of panel orientation and shading could contribute to the development of intelligent agricultural electrical systems, according to the researchers.