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On-farm solar generation has huge potential for Europe – Kelly

Published: Tue, 05 March 2024

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Sean Kelly MEP (Ireland South) has told the Solar Power Summit in Brussels that Agrisolar technologies will become the norm given that “there is still huge potential for solar generation in farms across Europe”.

In a speech to the high-level event, Kelly stressed the urgent need to address challenges faced by farmers in the current crisis and in view of the climate emergency. “We are transitioning to a future where the agricultural sector embraces innovative solutions that not only mitigate environmental impact but also enhance the resilience of farmers, leading to a more stable income,” MEP Kelly said.

Agrisolar, the integration of solar technology into agricultural practices, emerged as a key focus of Kelly’s speech. “Agrisolar presents itself as an intriguing solution that aligns with sustainable agricultural practices, aiming to improve both environmental and socio-economic outcomes for farms and their surrounding areas,” he remarked.

The Fine Gael MEP underscored the manifold benefits of Agrisolar, emphasising its ability to enhance crop yields, provide shade for farm animals, protect biodiversity, reduce water usage, and create additional revenue streams for farmers. Kelly cited concrete examples such as Agri-PV installations, solar rooftops on agricultural sheds, and the integration of solar panels into irrigation systems.

“In concrete numbers, Agri-PV installations have demonstrated a significant reduction in water usage for irrigation, ranging from 20-30%, as observed in operational sites in Spain, France, and Greece.” He also highlighted the growing recognition of Agrisolar, with 14 EU Member States, including Austria, Germany, France, and Italy, incorporating solar PV into their Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans.

Addressing concerns about Ireland’s weather, Kelly stated: “While Ireland may have its fair share of cloudy days, an increasing number of people are recognising the benefits of solar generation.”

Kelly also pointed to the economic viability of Agrisolar, particularly in reducing energy costs, which represent up to 50% of farmers’ production costs in Europe.


“It is imperative that we support and promote the widespread adoption of Agrisolar practices, fostering a resilient and environmentally conscious future for our farmers and the agriculture sector at large,” Kelly added.

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