Ag, Water and Energy: Investment in Agrivoltaics

 

With the agriculture industry being one of the highest-emitters of green house gases and the highest consumer of water in the United States, reducing water use and GHG emissions is critical, especially if it can be done without negatively impacting crop yield. We believe that public investment in agrivoltaics is critical and can help us achieve these goals. 

First, an explanation of what exactly agrivoltaics is. In the simplest terms, agrivoltaics is the practice of adding solar panels to agricultural operations. Of course, there are various methods of doing so and many ways in which this could be done, some more effective than others, and some more appropriate based on the type of crops and livestock that is nurtured on the land. 

Now, usually, we would write a whole bunch of paragraphs here explaining all the details of different deployments of agrivoltaics, or we would make a video to do so in more accessible way, or both. However, luckily for us, Matt Farrell, the host of the YouTube channel Undecided with Matt Farrell, has already done an episode of agrivoltaics that does a fantastic job of doing all that explaining. We've embedded that video right here so that you can watch it before continuing to read about our goals:

 

So, now that you know all about agrivoltaics, let's talk about what the Darius Institute is trying to do. First thing's first: we need the people who would most benefit from the implementation of this kind of technology to know about it. Our first priority, then, is to reach out to the stakeholders within the farming and agriculture community and make sure that they know about this technology and how it can affect their lives and livelihood. The first (and most extensive) part of our endeavor is educational.

Our goal is to inform and educate all relevant stakeholders on the issue. Once that is done, we plan to assist them in advocating for state action to fund grants for farmers so that they can afford to implement this technology. We are planning to focus primarily on the Western states, as based on existing research, their climate seems to be the most promising for the implementation of this technology. 

If you are a farmer, or you feel like this could impact you or your business, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are always happy to converse with stakeholders and thought leaders in the fields where we are trying to inform and affect change. If you'd like to stay in the loop about what we are up to and you want to get involved, follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter. We promise we won't spam you!