Innovation Department: Japan both repurposes old golf courses into solar farms and promotes “solar sharing” to small farmers

Japan is turning abandoned golf courses into solar farms to solve its energy problems


Solar Power and Farm Crops Created at the Same Time


In Japan, solar PV systems were approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Spring of 2013 for the practice of solar sharing. Blending solar PV with crop lands was the idea of a Japanese engineer named Akira Nagashima. He created a system that allowed solar panels to collect sunlight and for plants to as well, but they also were provided with some shade to protect them from overexposure.chiba, rice

For example, a Japanese farmer named Makoto Takazawa has farm land in Chiba Prefecture, where he has both solar PV and crops. He has nearly 350 kW of solar panels mounted on poles 3 meters above ground, and has grown crops like cabbages, eggplants, cucumber, taro, peanuts and yams underneath them. Both the solar panels and the food-bearing plants receive enough sunlight to be productive. Mr. Takazawa can make over $10,000 per year from his solar power system, and something less than $1,000 from growing vegetables. Additional revenue from solar power could help some farmers who have experienced declining incomes from crop sales.


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