Orchards produce less
Many devastating events have shown that the orchard sector is increasingly sensitive to the effects of climate events.
Producers say that fruits are burnt or “sunburnt” due to extremely intense sunlight. Damaged fruits are often sold as a second choice or considered unfit for consumption.
The orchard sector is also exposed to spring frost which could be highly damaging to production, up to 70% loss of total production volume which leads to huge loss of earnings or high insurance costs.
Moreover, hail storms happen more often, with disastrous consequences on some orchards: plots are increasingly heterogeneous, plants are destroyed, potential production dwindles over the following years, etc…
In this context, the use of protection nets over orchards becomes a necessity to secure productions.
Advantages of agrivoltaism
Agrivoltaism fits well with solutions already implemented:
- Trellising of trees thanks to the structure’s posts: every other row of trees;
- Protection nets to protect orchards: hail, insects, wind
- Automatic winding and unwinding system of net combined with an on-site plant and a weather forecast station.
Smart shadings are:
- An alternative to irrigation during dry periods; up to 20% of water saved per plot;
- The quality of fruits is maintained: protection against sunburnt during strong sunlight periods;
- Yields are maintained or even increased; reduction of erratic losses related to climate events (frost, hail, strong wind).