September 26th, 2012

Renewables blog Cleantechnica reports on the clever French:

Hanwha Solar is providing 7.7 megawatts of an 8.7-megawatt installation on a building owned by Solvéo Energie in Rion-des-Landes, France. This nine-hectare rooftop solar project of 36,900 panels fosters just the environment needed for the four-year growing period ginseng roots need before harvesting.

Photo from Solvéo

Solar greenhouses exploit advances in translucent PV modules. Frank Gehry (naturally) has designed a building for Novartis in his signature beanbag style covered entirely in the things.

This is fun, but also important. Solar energy is practically a free lunch except for one thing: land use. There’s always the Sahara but it’s the wrong side of the Atlantic for you. Dual-use photovoltaics are going to be essential: curtain walls, car parks, greenhouses.

Ginseng isn’t the only crop that likes a bit of shade. Another is RBC’s perennial favourite, marijuana.

I expect “medical” pot entrepreneurs in California are already looking at this opportunity.

Here’s a tip for them. To get their next legalisation proposition over the hump, why not add a green spin, and link it to demands for a favourable feed-in-tariff or tax breaks for their solar greenhouses?

RBC readers clearly enjoy competitions. So please supply a bumper-sticker slogan for pot legalisation coupling it to green energy.

Silicon Valley is Pot Valley
People who live in glass houses should get stoned

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