By Helge Biernath, Sunstall Inc.
I just attended the 2023 Solar Farm Summit, where I presented and spoke to the experts in the industry. One topic never came up: How will ESG (environmental, social, and governance) requirements from companies like Coca-Cola Now and Walmart influence agricultural photovoltaics? ESG requirements from such companies are likely to have a significant impact on agricultural photovoltaics (APV), the practice of integrating solar panels into agricultural lands.
Firstly, these companies have committed to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices in their operations, which will require them to procure renewable energy. APV is a form of renewable energy that can be integrated into agricultural production and help reduce the carbon footprint of these companies. Therefore, the ESG requirements of these companies may drive the adoption of APV by their suppliers and partners. And not only that: they will also require their suppliers to follow similar regimens to reduce the carbon footprint, and they will ask for strategic plans to get there and reports on the success.
Secondly, APV can offer several benefits to farmers, including providing an additional source of income, reducing water evaporation, and improving crop yield. By promoting the adoption of APV, these companies can encourage sustainable agricultural practices and support local communities. Given the ESG requirements, farmers will be asked to support the goal of carbon neutrality. It will be a challenge but also a huge opportunity through solar farming.
Finally, ESG requirements are increasingly becoming a factor in investment decisions, with investors looking for companies that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility. The adoption of APV can enhance the ESG profile of companies in the agriculture sector and help them attract more socially responsible investment.
In summary, the ESG requirements of companies like Coca-Cola and Walmart are likely to drive the adoption of APV in the agriculture sector, promoting sustainable practices, reducing carbon footprint, and improving the ESG profile of companies in the sector.
And the Oscar goes to THE FARMERS! They will be asked to help!
I feel with the solutions we have seen over the last days at the Solar Farm Summit, the agriculture and solar community is ready to support ESG goals.
All photos courtesy of Sunstall, Inc.