The unforeseen repercussions of solar photovoltaic technology

A new solar power plant in Pangasinan, the 94 MWp Cayanga-Bugallon Solar Power Plant, was built on non-arable sloping ground instead of flat fields typically used for food production. This innovative approach helps minimize the displacement of farmers. The Philippines is facing a challenge as solar facilities require a lot of land, which is usually used for farming. To address this, some solar facilities are co-locating solar power generation and agriculture on the same land. Additionally, floating solar panels on bodies of water and rooftop solar panels are becoming more common. The 159 MWp Laoag and the 94 MWp Cayanga-Bugallon solar power plants in Pangasinan, which were recently energized, show that solar power generation can adapt to non-ideal terrains. As the country aims to increase its renewable energy share to 50% by 2040, solar energy is expected to play a significant role. However, the expansion of solar power may also pose a challenge to agricultural lands. It is essential for private developers and policy-makers to consider the balance between clean energy solutions and food security.

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