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Climate love

Kenya is using solar panels to boost crops by ‘harvesting the sun twice’

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Solar panels are not a new way of providing cheap power across much of the African continent, where there is rarely a shortage of sunshine. But growing crops underneath the panels is, and the process has had such promising trials in Kenya that has been already deployed in the open-field farms.
Known as Agrivoltaics, the technique harvests solar energy twice: where panels have traditionally been used to harness the sun’s rays to generate energy, they are also utilized to provide shade for growing crops, helping to retain moisture in the soil and boosting growth.
An initial year-long research collaboration between the University of Sheffield, World Agroforestry and the Kajiado-based Latia Agripreneurship Institute has shown promising results in the semi-arid Kajiado county.
For example, cabbages grown under the 180, 345-watt solar panels have been a third bigger, and healthier, than those grown in control plots with the same amount of fertilizer and water.
The solar panels can be placed three meters from the ground, providing ample room for a farmer to work below, or higher in bigger systems to allow access for agricultural machinery.
One of the scientists overseeing project acknowledged the technology has limitations, but says that in “areas of Kenya which are not currently suitable for horticulture, it may be possible to grow other crops under the improved environmental conditions under the panels”.
In other countries including France, the US and Germany, the technology has been employed successfully.

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  • Kihm Francis

    44 w

    Good news for Solar has Low-Maintenance and Low-Risk Investment therefore Solar Power Will Reduce Farm Operating Costs.

    • George Kariuki

      45 w

      Yes, I saw this on a big farm in Kitengela. Quite incredible.

      • Elizabeth Gathigia

        45 w

        It's incredible for sure this will help alot to increase food production

        • Gorffly mokua

          45 w

          This is an exciting concept! This has potential to increase food production sustainably!

          • winnie nguru

            45 w

            This is incredible. Making good use of the sun that we have pretty much all year round

            • Ingmar Rentzhog

              45 w

              this is brilliant!

              • bonke reinhard

                45 w

                Kenya has done a great thing what a milestone stone,it's our responsibility to maintain and take care of the solar panels to maintain their effective work as we enjoy together

                • mercy nduta

                  45 w

                  Glad seeing the country moving in that angle.

                  • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

                    45 w

                    this is so amazing

                    • Jane Wangui

                      45 w

                      This is very power might just boost havests for farmers and this means food security for everyone.

                      • Princess

                        45 w

                        It's a win for farmers, they can now enjoy higher and more reliable agricultural yields, thanks to the better growing conditions that solar panels have provided.

                        • Rashid Kamau

                          45 w

                          Solar power is an excellent option for agricultural businesses.

                          • Grace Njeri

                            45 w

                            @rashid_kamau Solar power will as well help reduce our Farm's Operating Costs.

                          • john linus Tom

                            45 w

                            This is amazing 👏👏

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