Photovoltaic car parks and cons of solar farms

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2022, 775 million people worldwide had no electricity access. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to some of the largest populations living without electricity. Thanks to community organisations providing small-scale photovoltaic systems, the Indonesian island of Sumba has been using solar energy for the last two years. The systems can power light bulbs and charge mobile phones. Earlier, the day ended there with the sunset.

Car parks covered with photovoltaic roofs enable electricity production in spaces previously used only by vehicles. In addition, they are located near facilities that need energy – hospitals, offices and shopping centres. Roofs with photovoltaic panels protect the cars from rain and snow; in the summer, they provide the necessary shade. The French Senate recently approved legislation that makes it mandatory to cover all existing and new car parks with 80 or more spaces with panels.

Photovoltaic farms have taken over California’s Mojave Desert. Riverside East Solar Energy Zone covers over 60,000 ha – 10 times more than Manhattan. Residents feel trapped, complaining about the ubiquitous dust and noise. Part of the Mojave is a rich and fragile habitat for endangered species and home to millennia-old carbon sequestration trees and ancient indigenous cultural sites. Experts estimate that such environmental interference “solves one problem while creating another.”

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