Is It Possible To Grow Your Fruits and Veggies Under Solar Panels? Know About Department of Energy’s Game-Changing Plan!


Is It Possible To Grow Your Fruits and Veggies Under Solar Panels

Growing fruits and veggies under solar panels? Yep, that’s the new game plan by the Department of Energy to hit those renewable energy goals. But hold on, farmers are saying, “Not on our turf!”

Is It Possible To Grow Your Fruits and Veggies Under Solar Panels?

So, here’s the scoop: the Department of Energy thinks solar can be our energy superhero, providing 40% of the country’s juice by 2035. But here’s the hitch—they figure we’ll need a whopping 5.7 million acres of land. Cue the farmers’ eye rolls, especially those Midwest folks.

Enter agrivoltaics, a fancy word for making solar and farming besties. Picture this: German scientists Adolph Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow in 1981 suggested lifting solar panels about 6 feet off the ground. Why? So you can grow your crops underneath, genius!

Now, U.S. farmers are catching onto this bright idea. The Department of Energy is throwing cash at Iowa State University—$1.8 million, to be exact. Their job? Test if we can grow fruits and veggies under those shiny solar panels. Professor Matt O’Neal is all about the experiment, saying, “Let’s see if these plants can party in the shade and maybe even make some money.”

Hold on to your hats—there are already 340 agrivoltaics spots in the U.S. Think solar panels teaming up with pollinator habitats and sheep grazing over 33,000 acres, dishing out a sweet 4.8 gigawatts of solar power.

And get this—Stephanie Mercier spilled the beans on a German study. Turns out, in Algeria, planting potatoes under solar panels boosted the yield by a whopping 16%. Talk about spuds in the sun! So, can solar panels and veggies be the dream team we didn’t know we needed? Well, the experiment is on, and we’re about to find out. Stay tuned, folks!

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