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Where would you place solar systems to reduce their future effect on agriculture, living space and biodiversity?

Image credit: Solar mixed with rice fields on reclaimed land in South Korea (https://theconversation.com/we-mapped-every-large-solar-plant-on-the-planet-using-satellites-and-machine-learning-170747)

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J
Juranium Nov 02, 2021
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

The problem
In an interesting article , researchers mapped 68,661 solar facilities in the world bigger than or equal to 10 kilowatts. What they also found is that these facilities are mainly built on agricultural areas, followed by grasslands and deserts. Considering the future expansion of solar energy trends based on retrieved data, we will have a huge problem with food systems, biodiversity, and lands used by vulnerable populations.
As discussed in the article, policymakers should support and potentiate building solar systems primarily on man-made structures. There was a similar cool idea by Darko Savic and some solutions discussed in the session here.
Questions
  • But what do you think, where the biggest solar systems should be built?
  • What creative of installing solar systems can you think of?

[1]https://theconversation.com/we-mapped-every-large-solar-plant-on-the-planet-using-satellites-and-machine-learning-170747

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Creative contributions

Solar plants in the mountains, just above the tree line

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 02, 2021
If wind and snow can be dealt with, large solar arrays could be installed in the mountains, just above the tree line. The panels would be more efficient due to the colder air.
Small caves could be carved under the installations to shield all the inverters, etc.
The correct placement and orientation of solar panels in mountain areas shift a significant amount of electricity generation from the summer to the winter months.
Sunlight reflected off snow adds to the efficiency of high-altitude arrays.

[1]The bright side of PV production in snow-covered mountains Annelen Kahl, Jérôme Dujardin, Michael Lehning Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2019, 116 (4) 1162-1167; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1720808116

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Subsidized solar panels only if the roof is optimal for energy production

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 02, 2021
There should be benefits for those that build roofs with optimal inclination and layout for solar energy capture:
Until the world is powered by 100% renewal energy all new buildings should be designed for optimal power collection. The entire real estate of the roof should be used to generate electricity.
Doing it differently should be expensive. Doing it right should be rewarded.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
My latest contribution to the world. It doubles as hay storage and horse feeding area. Every centimeter generates power. The roof is made from panels alone

The inclination is not perfect. It's a compromise between both functionalities.
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J
Juraniuma month ago
Darko Savic Very cool! What do you use generated electricity for?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Juran everything. Driving, heating, and the excess goes into the power network.
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Solar shading panels on parking lots

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J
Juranium Nov 26, 2021
Almost every shopping mall, supermarket, or big store has its parking lot. During the summer, cars get heated a lot, making the re-entry to a car almost impossible. During rainy or snowy weather, the cars get covered with water and snow, making it tough for people to reach the desired store dry. Also, this parking lot needs lighting, traffic signals, and sometimes music, which increases the energy consumption of the shopping mall/store.
If we installed PV solar panels above parking lots,
  • cars would be protected from overheating during summer
  • people would be able to stay dry during rain or snow
  • cars would get protected during the hail
  • the energy could be used to power the parking lot and more
An example is a solar parking facility at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, with an output of 8 megawatts of electricity.

[1]https://e360.yale.edu/features/putting-solar-panels-atop-parking-lots-a-green-energy-solution

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