Red or Blue? New research reveals that color of light impacts plant growth
A picture depicting a tomato plant. Photo courtesy of Shuttershock.

Red or Blue? New research reveals that color of light impacts plant growth

Researchers have recently discovered a way to make agrivoltaics—the use of solar panels to grow and cultivate crops—more efficient. They have found that the different levels of wavelengths have an impact on the crops and how quickly they grow.

Studies have shown that agrivoltaics can reduce the amount of water needed to grow plants. This is due to the fact that the crops are covered rather than receiving direct sunlight. However, researchers took this a step further by covering solar panels with red and blue filters to record the impact it has on the plants. The results of this study revealed that growing plants under red wavelengths is more efficient, while blue wavelengths are better at producing solar energy.

However, putting this research into common practice is the difficult part. A solar panel that captures blue light and allows red light to pass through to the plants would have to be created.

There are other factors that need to be considered: different types of crops may require different conditions. The study that led to this discovery conducted their research on tomatoes—therefore, there is no promise that these methods will work on other plants and crops.

Despite the obstacles this research faces, the discovery is promising and may lead society in a new direction regarding agrivoltaics.

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