Sheep graze near solar panels. Credit: Oregon State University

PEi Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (30 April-7 May), and first up we focus on agrivoltaics. It turns out solar panels can have a positive impact on animals, grazing, land productivity and the energy-land-water nexus at large.

Agrivoltaics: Happy sheep and sunshine

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

This week, one of our most popular stories concerned the launch of new guidelines to develop the field of agrivoltaics in Germany. The system involves mounting PV modules on a structure to generate renewable electricity, while agricultural crops grow underneath the modules. The approach increases land efficiency and could mitigate conflicts over the use of arable land in the future. Another study highlighted by WESTERN Farmer-Stockman shows that solar panels improve lamb growth by providing shade and allowing the animals to conserve energy. Grazing quality is also improved although the quantity decreases with the presence of the solar panels. Read more

No nuclear, no net zero

Ian Griffiths, partner at Shakespeare Martineau, talks to Dr Tim Stone, Nuclear Industry Association, about the UK’s Energy White Paper, focusing specifically on the importance of new-build nuclear in getting Britain to its net zero targets. If sensibly financed, nuclear can be as cheap as renewables, it won’t displace them but will be part of a sensible, balanced mix. Listen to the discussion for the details.

New wind record

Great Britain’s wind turbines set a new record 3 May, generating 18.74GW of electricity at 5pm, beating the 18.23GW record set on 28 March 2021. You can watch the energy system live to get all the data on supply, demand, price and environmental impact of Britain’s electricity. Check out the numbers now.

Image credit: DRAX

Kite surfing for wind power

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and champion kitesurfer Lewis Crathern have joined forces to advocate for wind power across the world. Crathern is a four-time British kitesurfing champion, 2016 Vice World Champion, 8X RedBull King of the Air competitor, past winner of the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge, and Ambassador of the UK Kitesurfing Armada. Together they will educate youth about careers in renewable energy and the importance of wind.

Connect with us next week Friday for another selection of interesting sector news. Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.

The PEi Ed team 🙂