The co-location of agriculture and photovoltaics is just taking off in Africa. There are agrivoltaic research farms in Algeria, Kenya, and Tanzania among others.
In Morocco, the Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex is one of the largest solar power plants in the world. The plant uses concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, which allows for the generation of electricity even when the sun is not shining. The plant is located in a desert area where agriculture is challenging, but the Moroccan government is exploring the use of agrivoltaics to make use of the land underneath the solar panels. One potential crop is a type of cactus that can be used for animal feed.
In Egypt, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is promoting the use of agrivoltaics as a way to increase food production and reduce water consumption. One pilot project involves the installation of solar panels above a wheat field. The panels provide shade to the wheat, reducing water consumption and improving crop yields. The project also generates clean energy, which is used to power nearby communities.
In South Africa, a project called Sun Exchange is allowing people to invest in solar panels installed on the rooftops of schools and other community buildings. The solar panels generate clean energy, which is sold to the grid, and the revenue is used to fund education initiatives in the local community. While not strictly agrivoltaics, this project is helping to promote the use of renewable energy and sustainable development in Africa.
We are excited to begin including African agrivoltaic projects in the atlas and warmly welcome contributors to reach out to us and join!
Building the Atlas
We launched the Agrivoltaic Atlas on April 12, 2023 for the AgriVoltaics 2023 conference in Daegu, South Korea. We launch with the goal of demonstrating the idea and gathering interest from partners around the world to contribute. If you would like to contribute, contact email@example.com.