Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Tuesday January 24, @08:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the light-harvest-year dept.

Different Light Spectra Serve Different Needs for Agrivoltaics:

People are increasingly trying to grow both food and clean energy on the same land to help meet the challenges of climate change, drought and a growing global population that just topped 8 billion. This effort includes agrivoltaics, in which crops are grown under the shade of solar panels, ideally with less water.

Now scientists from the University of California, Davis, are investigating how to better harvest the sun — and its optimal light spectrum — to make agrivoltaic systems more efficient in arid agricultural regions like California.

Their study, published in Earth's Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, found that the red part of the light spectrum is more efficient for growing plants, while the blue part of the spectrum is better used for solar production.

[...] "Today's solar panels take all the light and try to make the best of it. But what if a new generation of photovoltaics could take the blue light for clean energy and pass the red light onto the crops, where it is most efficient for photosynthesis?"

[...] "We cannot feed 2 billion more people in 30 years by being just a little more water-efficient and continuing as we do," Abou Najm said. "We need something transformative, not incremental. If we treat the sun as a resource, we can work with shade and generate electricity while producing crops underneath. Kilowatt hours become a secondary crop you can harvest."

Journal Reference:
Matteo Camporese, Majdi Abou Najm, Not All Light Spectra Were Created Equal: Can We Harvest Light for Optimum Food-Energy Co-Generation? [open], Earth's Future, 10, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022EF002900


Original Submission

This discussion was created by janrinok (52) for logged-in users only. Log in and try again!
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @01:35PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @01:35PM (#1288346)

    "we can work with shade and generate electricity while producing crops underneath"

    Have any of these people ever seen how a farm works at scale, and the massive capital investment creating this would be?

    You aren't going to have people picking crops in the California central valley in a Hellscape like that (I hope...)

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Tuesday January 24, @02:13PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24, @02:13PM (#1288355) Journal

      You aren't going to have people picking crops in the California central valley in a Hellscape like that (I hope...)

      Given that it's shading the ground underneath from most of the solar influx (heat and UV) from the Sun, it may be less of a Hellscape than the current non-solar panel field is! And let's consider the revenue: revenue from solar power (possibly reduced by a need to redirect or generate blue light for crops shaded by the panels) and revenue from the field's crops. It doesn't sound that impressive to me either, but presently revenue from solar power in sunny regions probably would pay for the infrastructure. If the hit to the farm's productivity isn't high, this might work economically - that is, be more attractive than either a farm or solar plant alone.

      Then there's the cynical politics which these guys are probably milking. In a place like California, you'll get a lot of political revenue, subsidies and direct funding, from combining agriculture with solar power. They probably can get even more if they incorporate organic farming and other green fads. Even if they don't know this stuff now, they can find funding sources so that they learn first hand.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @01:59PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @01:59PM (#1288350)

    We're seriously talking about a fragile technology solution for... another 2B humans? It's like a Jenga tower of humanity... we aren't going to make it.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday January 24, @03:06PM (6 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24, @03:06PM (#1288371) Journal
      Only if you believe that these researchers are right about the present fragility. News flash: they aren't. They're selling a narrative to get funding.
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @06:17PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @06:17PM (#1288393)

        They're selling a narrative to get funding.

        Exactly. We don't need all this frail "high tech" nonsense. We can easily feed a lot more than 2 billion people by just reducing waste and corruption. Grains rot in silos while speculators hold out for a higher price, more than half of what we produce is tossed into landfills and the ditch [gannett-cdn.com], also as a means of price supports. People are starving because of state/corp piracy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:01PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:01PM (#1288401)

          They aren't selling a narrative, they're selling what we need to do to deal with the status quo. They're talking about how to deal with the system the way it is. If you don't like that angle, then fix the stuff you're complaining about, like tax or punish the speculators for letting the grain rot, but we can't because "socialism" or something like that.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:19PM (#1288406)

            they're selling what we need to do to deal with the status quo

            No, they're selling a "monorail" [youtu.be]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:45PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @07:45PM (#1288412)

            I think if we could eliminate, say, 95% of the population - just like the Illuminati want - we will finally have the correct amount of humans.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @09:10PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, @09:10PM (#1288425)

              Maybe the Illumunati are the redneck hicks we imagine them to be. Maybe their devious plan to reduce the population is finally coming together...?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 24, @10:41PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24, @10:41PM (#1288443) Journal

            They aren't selling a narrative, they're selling what we need to do to deal with the status quo. They're talking about how to deal with the system the way it is.

            Nonsense. The grandparent noted that we could cover the 25% increase merely by wasting less food. We can also just grow more with present day technology. This vanishes the alleged need for exotic schemes and technologies.

            And it's a terrible idea to try to force greater efficiency with regulation. You run hard into the "if I will be punished every time I make a mistake, then I just won't do that."

(1)