Skip to main content

As solar panels cover more land, pollinators and plants underneath receive greater attention

by Sangam Paudel, Nov 19
1 minute read

Across the US, researchers are studying the possibilities of multiple land use underneath solar panels, including testing the sites for grazing sheep, for growing native prairie plants and shade-tolerant vegetables, and for attracting pollinators. The US Department of Energy is also funding research to study multiple land use around the solar farms.

white and blue patio umbrella near green trees during daytime

So what?

As the solar energy sector grows, it is likely to come into conflict with other land uses such as agriculture and biodiversity conservation. Exploring the possibilities of varied land uses underneath the acres of solar panels might lessen the pushback that solar energy projects face from local residents. Multiple land use could also provide an additional source of income for farmers, thus incentivizing them to install solar panels and join the renewable transition.

The more shade-tolerant plants are likely to benefit the most from such agrivoltaic systems since they would perform better in reduced light under solar panels. The reduction of heat on the land may even reduce water loss from the area, thus reducing the amount of water needed for irrigation. This might make agrivoltaic systems especially beneficial in drier areas.



by Sangam Paudel Spotted 92 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Join discussion

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.