A Plan to Bring Sun-Powered Irrigation to Poor Farmers
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
One of the finest applications of solar photovoltaic panels is in powering drip irrigation systems for farmers in hot, sunny, poor parts of the world. You don’t even need to store the electricity. The pumping is mainly needed when the sun is shining.
To gauge the remarkable benefits of such systems, start with this peer-reviewed study of solar irrigation projects in Africa’s dry zone led by Jennifer Burney of the University of California, San Diego, and Stanford: “Solar-powered drip irrigation enhances food security in the Sudano–Sahel.”
One of the challenges, as with many solar systems, is cost.