Welcome to the New Day Cafe! This is an open thread.
The BBC had a recent piece on the cultivation of an endangered citrus fruit from the Calabrian region of southern Italy. Since solar farms are now competing with agriculture for land use, grower Antonio Lancellotta is helping to pioneer what he calls “agrivoltaics”, or the growing of crops under solar panels.
From the BBC piece,
“On a warm late winter morning, Antonio Lancellotta, a 35-year-old farmer, shows me around one of his family's unorthodox 1.8-acre (7,280 square metre) greenhouse in Scalea, southern Italy. Rows of lush citron trees (Citrus medica), heavy with white flowers fill the space. Yet, above the trees, at about 12.5ft (3.8m) above the ground, alternating lines of transparent plastic sheets and photovoltaic panels roofed the field. The Lancellotta family was one of the first in Italy to experiment with "agrivoltaics", where crops are grown underneath solar panels.
‘Look at the quality of this citron,’ Lancellotta says, holding a large heart-shaped yellow fruit. ‘Perfect...’
In 2009, Antonio's father, Mario, an agronomist and accountant, stumbled upon agrivoltaics. This concept had been around since the 1980s, and the agronomist saw it as an exciting investment opportunity. What if producing energy could support the production of the local endangered citron that, to grow well, needed some natural or artificial shade?”
I suggest reading the whole piece if you’re in the need of an uplifting environmental story.
This is an open thread. Please join us.