Agrophotovoltaic systems by Jairo Adán Hernández Coba

  • 2023-06-29
  • Christina Pfänder
  • Comment
Solar cells on the cultivation of strawberries
© Getty Images/albertogagna

The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda is of major significance to the development process in the Global South. It is therefore my aim as a Columbian early career researcher to support realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to food security and the provision of clean water and green electric energy for the population in developing countries. To do this I’m relying on the implementation of agrophotovoltaic (APV) systems that make dual use of agricultural land: crops are planted beneath solar panels and benefit from the shade; at the same time the PV systems generate clean electricity. I have meanwhile managed to arrange the installation of a test field near a farm in Nuevo San Cayetano.

In order for my project to be implemented as planned, I’m now working on securing funding for the first APV system in Columbia. I’m also planning a marketing campaign to identify potential customers on a national level. Since my PhD activities are taking place in San Juan, I also have the opportunity to explore Argentina's agricultural industry at the same time.

The Community Challenge run by Alumniportal Deutschland forms a cornerstone for the implementation of my project. I managed to expand my approach and improve my pitching skills as the competition progressed. Overall, it was a unique experience that gave me the opportunity to meet other social entrepreneurs, make contacts with professionals and present my idea to international experts. That’s why I want to encourage all Alumniportal Deutschland members to participate in Community Challenges.

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