Various industries are searching for emission reduction tactics as eco-consumer rates worldwide are ringing. The agricultural sector is a significant polluter. Hence it requires technological advancement to enhance sustainability. Experts are exploring the cross benefits of using solar energy to support farming.
The connection between renewables and agriculture is age-old. Today modern farmers are installing solar panels, as they can increase food production and power the emission-free electric grid.
Surprisingly, today 80 percent of America’s energy supply comes from only fossil fuels. During the combustion process, the elements release greenhouse gas into the env, causing pollution.
Effect of Solar Energy on the Earth
These gases alter the atmosphere’s composition. As we know, the planet relies on a strategic atmospheric consistency to produce and regulate specific surface temp. All these steps will ensure and support the global ecosystem. If the composition changes, the earth struggles to maintain life-sufficient conditions.
We all know that the earth absorbs infrared radiation and produces heat energy. This warms up the earth’s surface temperature. Then, the atmosphere gathers extra energy and sends it to space. Greenhouse gases change the process as they raise the atmospheric sunlight-to-heat conversion rate.
Moreover, emissions also trap excess energy on the earth, thus refiltering it through the heat production. Over time, these gases increase the temperature on the planet. Solar power diminishes these adverse effects by producing an abundant energy supply without releasing emissions.
Another significant contributing factor to the enhanced greenhouse effect is agricultural processes. As the farmers raise the cattle, it increases the rate of methane emissions. This process pollutes the atmosphere. Note that methane is a more potent air pollutant than carbon dioxide.
The farming industry also affects the earth’s ecology in several ways. As, the complete farming process exploited the natural lands and resources.
In addition, the overproduction of crops often uses excessive quantities of water, leading to scarcity. Moreover, it erodes the soil and depletes the ground’s nutrient levels. Covering regions of farms and water sources with solar panels can increase clean energy production. It can also support land conservation for agricultural development.
Ways in Which Solar Energy Can Benefit Farming
1 Covering low-light plants
Today most farmers today struggle to produce much light- and heat-intolerant crops. Probably because global temperatures are increasing. High-demand vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, leaf lettuce, spinach, and squash often require shade to reach optimal growth cycles. Therefore, farmers can utilize solar panels to shade their low-light plants, thus increasing the abundance of their yields.
Experts use the term agri voltaics – which signifies farming processes using solar panels. The panels protect the crops from light-related damage. As the plants cool off the solar systems when they perspire. Renewable devices decrease efficiency when they overheat so low-light crops can preserve their production rates.
2 Float Photovoltaic Covered Canals
Today the agricultural industry uses solar panels to conserve necessary natural resources. As you might be aware, farming requires vast quantities of freshwater. The evaporation rate also increases. As a result, global temperature rises, leaving extended regions in droughts.
Engineers and scientists are developing optimum solutions by placing panels over canals. Experts plan on installing solar systems over the water sources supporting the farmlands. Researchers predict that these projects may save nearly 65 billion gallons of water annually by reducing evaporation effects on the earth.
Other engineers are developing photovoltaic (PV) panels that float. These are excellent solutions in helping to protect all water sources from the effects of climate change. PV technology works as it converts solar radiation into a direct current of emission-free electricity. As the panels float on water surfaces, professionals named their photovoltaic systems.
In addition, the float photovoltaic panels can also increase the national clean energy supply. As freshwater would be abundant for agricultural development. Together, the industries can today minimize harmful ecological effects which helps improve resource conservation efforts.
The enhanced greenhouse effect would also limit agricultural production due to animals overheating. Grazing livestock like sheep and cattle require shade when temperatures are very high. Farmers can utilize solar panels in their fields to provide their animals with sufficient shelter in the open.
Cost Effective Solution of Using Solar Energy in Farming
Using solar energy in agricultural operations allows farmers to become less reliant on the electrical grid. Many farms can even generate enough power through alternative strategies to remain completely off the grid. It can benefit those in remote locations, where installing new utility lines can be problematic and expensive.
Solar energy is predictable, so farms need not be concerned about potential power outages, especially if the farms have adequate battery storage for the collected energy. Farm operations can use backup generators powered by gas, wind, or diesel fuel to supplement battery storage.
This will ensure independence from the electrical grid. Agriculture operating costs can be high, and meeting these expenses can be difficult for many farmers. Solar strategies can help farmers improve efficiency and self-reliance and reduce their costs.
Solar Powered Irrigation Systems
The role of solar power in smart agriculture is impactful when it comes to the essential process of irrigating fields. Irrigation plays a vital role in agriculture by improving yields and soil water conditions.
It can prevent famine due to variable rainfall patterns, which disrupt crop growth. Essentially, irrigation is essential to food security. Energy is a vital input to facilitate proper irrigation in an agricultural application. However, access to such energy can prove challenging in rural areas where there is no reliable access to an electricity grid or where diesel fuel is costly.
Several cutting-edge industrial networking solutions have been developed in recent years, enhancing solar power applications in smart agriculture.
Solar-powered irrigation systems are becoming increasingly viable and advantageous to supply farmers with the energy to power their irrigation systems. Such systems provide reliable, affordable, flexible, and clean energy, potentially reducing irrigation energy costs.
Solar-powered irrigation systems contribute to rural electrification in areas where access to energy is either limited or nonexistent. Solar power improves farmers’ access to water and ensures the vital irrigation process has the energy it needs to commence.
Production Limitations of Solar Power for Irrigation
It is true that solar panels seem simple to support agricultural production, many farmers resist adopting this new technology. Many farmers can not see the benefits of placing systems on their open fields. They strongly believe these panels take up too much land and may also limit production rates. Others believe that rural areas view solar as a political statement. And they fail to recognize their env values.
The public bodies need to support the cross between solar and agricultural production by creating effective educational programs. When farmers better understand the benefits, they might feel compelled to adopt the system. The program can also highlight the financial advantages of using solar power on farms.
Note that solar is the most affordable energy source in the country. It can help farmers minimize their utility costs. Farmers can also sell excess clean electricity to the grid thus developing a form of passive income. Farmers can additionally support their livestock’s health by increasing the local air quality with renewables.
Finally, people can teach and educate farmers about the production benefits of using panels to increase shade in their fields. The transition might indeed take time. It can improve crop yields and decrease env degradation.
It is important to note that they will purchase and install solar panels only when farmers are ready to reduce their carbon footprints and utility bills.
More and more awareness is required, and the benefits explained to increase the purchase and installation costs of the farmers. Farmers also need to understand the efficiency and longevity of their systems.
Why is it Important to Use Solar Power in Farming
Solar energy has emerged as the most promising renewable energy source that can replace old energy sources. This energy can provide both electrical and thermal power. Solar power application in the farming sector includes rural electrification, drying, cooking, water pumping, threshing, etc.
Proper utilization of solar energy can be a game-changer. Proper energy management is one of the main criteria for uniform development in farming. The limited number of fossil fuel resources and their negative impact on the envt has increased focus on these renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources include the sun, wind, water, tidal, geothermal, and biomass energy. Among these energy sources, all are region-based except sun and biomass. The total energy received on the earth’s surface is just a fraction of the sun’s total radiation.
The farmers can achieve electrical and thermal energy from solar energy through proper collectors. The focus of solar energy in the farming sector has been increasing in recent years. Probably because it is readily available and pollution-free.
The only important thing is to design reliable ways to utilize the solar power so that it could be available during unclear weather conditions. Farmers can utilize solar energy in different sectors of agriculture.
The farmers can harness thermal power for utilization in drying, cooling, steam generation, etc. In contrast, electrical energy can be used to pump water for irrigation,and operate various machines.
The photo-voltaic systems require less running costs than other traditional farm energy sources, and they are very efficient. Greenhouse nurseries enable year-round crop growth. Photovoltaic panels can dry crops more quickly and more evenly than other methods. Solar collectors assist in lowering costs when they are used in dairy and livestock operations. Solar energy can power the water heaters and other necessary pieces of equipment. Thus we see the benefits are numerous.