The farmers choice when it comes to solar panels throughout Europe

8/10/19, 1:35 PM -

Solar PV and storage providers are seeing a surge in demand by farmers across Europe in response to technology advances and concerns over energy price instability.

Farmers in Ireland and other European countries count on own solar power.
Farmers in Ireland and other European countries count on own solar power.

A new, technology-friendly generation is more open to innovation than before. At the same time professional managers, brought in by established landowners, are keen to adopt the best methods to maximise commercial performance.

Farmers are finding it easier to access solar power as distribution networks expand both geographically and in the range of products and levels of support offered. Solarwatt  is seeing a big increase in demand from farmers through Klar Energy in  in Norway, Ecokraft and Kopernicus in Sweden, Onninen in Finland, AgriSun in the Netherlands and BHC Distributors in Ireland.

Saving energy costs with PV

Energy is a big cost for farmers and the dependence on utilities is too big to ignore. The potentially negative effects of the international trend away from economic subsidy, aimed at promoting renewable use, are being blunted by the need to control fuel costs.

Meanwhile, many rural entrepreneurs are committed to reducing their CO2 emissions, for legal and ethical reasons. The long-term trend towards faster, more comprehensive communications means farmers are as exposed to outside influence as any other sector. Increasingly, suppliers large and small specify high health and welfare standards, and many insist on renewable energy use.

Farm in Sweden.

“People sometimes forget that farming is a business, and that requires investment in technology to stay ahead arrange the business as profitable and efficient as possible” said Pol Spronck, Solarwatt Head of Selected Markets International. “The new custodians of the landscape are out to maximise returns from their assets and address multiple risks, while building a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Innovation and implementing new innovative technologies is crucial both in running a countryside business and to ensure it’s sufficiently attractive to pass on to the next generation, which will be more familiar with new technologies and greater use of data to yield economic performance.

Farmers bet on quality PV systems

Quality photovoltaic systems capture the power of the sun to deliver clean energy that helps protect and preserve rural businesses across Europe and prepare for the future witnessing ever increasing electricity prices.

Ideally, farmers want solar PV modules to last as long as the roofs that hold them. Solarwatt Vision glass-glass modules are robust, reliable, long-lasting and equipped to perform in all farming environments and weather conditions. With 2mm glass front and rear, cells are completely protected against penetration by moisture and gases, maintaining performance for decades. This also increases the fire resistance as glass is not flammable and is therefore the safer option.

Typically, modules are tested modules withstand thick snow loads, aggressive gases such as ammonia, and acid rain – so energy yields remain stable, year after year. SOLARWATT offers an industry-leading 30-year warranty on product and performance, covering repair and replacement, transport and reinstallation costs through local partners.

PV is also popular among Swedish farmers.

And Vision glass-glass modules yield an average 35% higher return, achieved sustainably – as glass is durable and recyclable, and ultra-modern production methods keep energy consumption to a minimum.

Meanwhile, farmers are taking advantage of more robust storage systems to invest in high-performance smart batteries to store energy generated on building rooftops for use in times of lower sunshine levels.

Thanks to improved sealing and an anti-theft device, Solarwatt’s award-winning MyReserve modular storage systems can also be installed outdoors .

Solar PV plus storage

And this year the company launches a new version of the MyReserve Command control unit, accepting a maximum DC voltage of 1,000 volts, so that up to 22 modules can be integrated into one string per control unit. In order to keep the battery software up to date, MyReserve Command 25 will also allow updates via Internet, on condition that the owner has given his approval, while maintaining the same high level of safety and security.

“Solarwatt focusses very successfully on farmers throughout Europe. There is a perfect fit for solar pv (plus storage) as farmer buildings typically have large roofs, have high energy consumption and high electricity bills that our solutions can reduce straight away and for decades to come. SOLARWATT’s market leading glass-glass panels are the right choice due to specific agricultural environments dealing with e.g. ammonia and dust and the long lifetimes Solarwatt warrants under these conditions, taking care of the next generation as well when the business is passed on”, added Pol Spronck. (HCN)

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