Central Ohio solar project can be model for solar, farming mutual benefits

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While the world’s science community implores governments to speed the transition away from fossil fuels before a tipping point of no return is reached, the process of approving clean energy projects has gotten bogged down in local disputes. Some reports say Ohio is actually leading all states in this regard. 10 counties have now banned solar and wind energy facilities.

One of the most prevalent arguments is that solar panels interfere with the growing of food. To many this seems convincing as we all need food. But a deeper examination reveals this to be a false choice. Not only can we have both, but each can act as an actual enhancement to the other. It is a classic opportunity for a win-win.

Though not well known in the U.S., there is a new approach – called “agrivoltaics” – being applied at increasing scale around the world. The concept started in Japan, which now has more than 1000 agrivoltaic installations.  Germany, France, India and China are starting to adopt the practice as well.

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