Monday, October 19, 2009


Using agricultural roof-space in high-tech Corsica

I have just been reading about one of the best and greenest ideas I’ve ever come across, in today’s (5th October) Corse Matin.

The Chamber of Agriculture of Haute Corse is promoting this energy saving suggestion to local farmers and it works like this…

The farmers of northern Corsica have hectare upon hectare of land occupied by agricultural buildings, and the Government is proposing that some of the resulting roofing is populated with photovoltaic cells. Forget crude solar-powered water pumps - these cells have the capacity of turning the sun’s energy directly into electricity, and instead of being used inefficiently on site, it is fed back into France’s electricity grid. The farmer receives about 43 cents per kilowatt hour generated.

This is a pretty new idea and I haven’t done the sums on how much cash this is likely to bring in for a typical farmer, or indeed how much of Corsica’s energy will be able to be generated in this way.

Although I’ve nothing in principle against nuclear energy, I feel that at present too much of France’s energy needs are met by nuclear power stations (though much of Corsica’s electricity comes from hydro-electric power). All said and done, this photo-voltaic scheme seems like a fundamentally good idea.

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