When most people think of solar energy, they immediately think about homes with solar power. Although solar power is generally used on homes, it has a great benefit in agriculture as well. Here are some benefits of solar energy in agriculture.
Floating farms are not only a great way to save up on space, but also a great way to increase water quality as well as food production. The 200x350m floating modular farms harvest sunlight as well as rainwater. They use underutilized water to produce up to 8,000 tons of vegetables a year. Floating farms can be connected to grids scaling up into huge farms and produce fresh food for an entire city. This would let people know exactly where their food comes from. Another solar use in agriculture would be vertical farms. Vertical farms save an enormous amount of space by building upwards. It would harvest it’s own energy, create jobs, and save space for other projects that a city would need to do.
Another use for solar energy in agriculture would be solar crop drying. Usually, one would lay out crops in the fields to dry. While this method is cheap and beneficial, it leaves the possibility of crops getting destroyed by birds and the weather. By using solar energy for drying, you have the guarantee the safety of your crops. A drying shed would be constructed and solar panels installed on as much of the roof as possible to get the most out the solar energy. When not drying crops, the solar energy can be used for heating necessities in other seasons.
Greenhouses typically rely on sunlight for lighting needs, not for heating. In colder weather, they rely on other forms of heat, like gas, to maintain good conditions for plants to grow. With solar energy however, both sunlight and heating are provided for plants. A solar greenhouse harvests and stores the necessary energy needed and can later be used when needed for heating in harsher weather. Solar greenhouses reduces the use of fossil fuels that are normally used for heating.A gas heater can serve as a back-up heater or used to increase carbon dioxide levels to induce higher plant growth.