By now, you’ve probably heard how solar energy is powering our homes and office spaces. But have you considered using renewable energy for your farmland? Not to give too much away, but powering your farm through solar energy can be quite beneficial. Aside from trimming down that electric bill, solar power allows farmlands to be much more eco-friendly. If you have been on the fence about converting to solar energy, you’re in the right place.
The numerous advantages of solar panels are applicable to a wide range of sectors, but they can be especially beneficial to farmers. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the biggest reasons why!
1. Diversifies Land Use
Agriculture demands highly efficient use of land, and most farmers can’t afford to let any go to waste. Happily, modern solar panel solutions save customers from having to sacrifice the valuable land that would normally be used for grazing – today, solar panels are designed with dual land use in mind, which means they can be safely grazed by cattle or sheep. Silent and static, they’re unlikely to intimidate animals in the same way that new machines could.
What’s more, the sprawling nature of large agricultural buildings like barns and warehouses can make them a perfect environment for solar panels, so some farmers may find they don’t have to dedicate any already occupied land to them at all.
2. Not a permanent switch
One main misconception of solar energy is that it is a permanent decision. But, in most cases, that is simply not true. Farmers can use solar energy as long as need be before reverting back to electricity. After the tenure, future crops will not be affected by formerly using renewable energy. Some aren’t interested in permanently converting, but are seriously affected by the drought. Using solar energy can help farmers sustain through the drought. Then, if they decide it’s not for them, they are able to go back.
3. Cost-Effective (And Protects The Business)
Modern farming is incredibly energy-intensive, especially given the scale involved, and the volume of what farmers have to produce. That means that for almost all farmers, energy comprises one of the single biggest costs of running their farm. There is a huge range of agricultural technologies and appliances that need a constant, reliable supply of energy, including grain stores, dairy units and chicken houses. These are energy-intensive enough to start with, but in recent years farmers have been hit by energy price rises that have taken severe tolls on their business across the land.
Solar panels provide a simple, elegant solution to many of these issues. Primarily, they do this by helping farmers to generate their energy on-site, which reduces their reliance on the National Grid. This can help save significant amounts on their energy bills and reduce business overheads. What’s more, it also futureproofs the farm against current and future price rises.
As an extra bonus, as well as protecting the business financially, it also protects farms against power outages, which can have highly stressful repercussions in terms of caring for livestock.
4. More advanced
Like everything in our tech-savvy world, solar panels have developed greatly from its initial state. Now, many solar panels do not feature the glass substrate that the traditional models held. They are still attachable to roofs and walls. Also, panels tend to be much more environmentally friendly now. That is due to less energy being needed for its manufacturing process. The convenience of installation is one of the major advantages of solar energy.
5. Reduces carbon footprint
The UK’s agricultural industry is under more pressure than ever to curb its collective emissions, so this is another benefit that’s especially relevant to farmers.
While reducing the emissions of any industry isn’t an overnight task, solar panels can certainly help farmers make significant steps towards it. The clean energy generated by solar panels can help farmers enormously in meeting their energy requirements while successfully cutting down on their carbon footprint.
6. Soil becomes a better habitat
Powering through solar energy creates a more habitat-friendly environment for plants and wildlife. Solar panels are typically surrounded by grasslands. The installation does not pose any harm or threat to plants. Also, it can be easily maintained through hedging. Additionally, animals are able to have more room to graze through, creating a pasture-like setting. They will not be harmed by the above or underground panels.
Our install on a farm in County Monaghan of a 50kW Solar PV system with SOLARWATT glass.
7. The most efficient way to halt global warming
Global warming has been a viral topic on everyone’s radar for years. Utilizing renewable energy is one of the most productive methods of reducing a carbon footprint. Solar panels produce renewable energy. Not only that, but solar farms are able to disperse large amounts of clean energy. This is because of the excess power being distributed onto the main grids.
Curious If Solar Makes Sense For Your Farm?
These are just a few general examples of solar panel benefits for farms – depending on your own circumstances, you may be able to enjoy a few specific ones of your own! Contact our experts at Solar Power to find out more about the installation.