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Title: Techno-Ecological Synergies of Solar Energy for Global Sustainability

Abstract

The strategic engineering of solar energy technologies - from individual rooftop modules to large solar energy power plants - can confer significant synergistic outcomes across industrial and ecological boundaries. Here, we propose techno-ecological synergy (TES), a framework for engineering mutually beneficial relationships between technological and ecological systems, as an approach to augment the sustainability of solar energy across a diverse suite of recipient environments, including land, food, water, and built-up systems. We provide a conceptual model and framework to describe 16 TESs of solar energy and characterize 20 potential techno-ecological synergistic outcomes of their use. For each solar energy TES, we also introduce metrics and illustrative assessments to demonstrate techno-ecological potential across multiple dimensions. The numerous applications of TES to solar energy technologies are unique among energy systems and represent a powerful frontier in sustainable engineering to minimize unintended consequences on nature associated with a rapid energy transition.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8]; ORCiD logo [9];  [10]; ORCiD logo [9];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [14]
  1. University of California, Davis; University of California, Berkeley; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  2. Lancaster University
  3. University of California, San Diego
  4. Center for Biological Diversity
  5. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  6. Universite de Thies
  7. University of California, Davis
  8. Fresh Energy
  9. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  10. San Jose State University
  11. Wells Fargo
  12. University of California, Davis; University of California, Berkeley
  13. University of California, Riverside
  14. University of California, Berkeley
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1545006
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-73099
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Sustainability
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; solar; agriculture; co-location; agrivoltaics

Citation Formats

Hernandez, Rebecca R., Armstrong, Alona, Burney, Jennifer, Ryan, Greer, Moore-O'Leary, Kara, Diedhiou, Ibrahima, Grodsky, Steven M., Saul-Gershenz, Leslie, Davis, Rob, Macknick, Jordan E, Mulvaney, Dustin, Heath, Garvin A, Easter, Shane B., Hoffacker, Madison K., Allen, Michael F., and Kammen, Daniel M. Techno-Ecological Synergies of Solar Energy for Global Sustainability. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0309-z.
Hernandez, Rebecca R., Armstrong, Alona, Burney, Jennifer, Ryan, Greer, Moore-O'Leary, Kara, Diedhiou, Ibrahima, Grodsky, Steven M., Saul-Gershenz, Leslie, Davis, Rob, Macknick, Jordan E, Mulvaney, Dustin, Heath, Garvin A, Easter, Shane B., Hoffacker, Madison K., Allen, Michael F., & Kammen, Daniel M. Techno-Ecological Synergies of Solar Energy for Global Sustainability. United States. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0309-z.
Hernandez, Rebecca R., Armstrong, Alona, Burney, Jennifer, Ryan, Greer, Moore-O'Leary, Kara, Diedhiou, Ibrahima, Grodsky, Steven M., Saul-Gershenz, Leslie, Davis, Rob, Macknick, Jordan E, Mulvaney, Dustin, Heath, Garvin A, Easter, Shane B., Hoffacker, Madison K., Allen, Michael F., and Kammen, Daniel M. Tue . "Techno-Ecological Synergies of Solar Energy for Global Sustainability". United States. doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0309-z.
@article{osti_1545006,
title = {Techno-Ecological Synergies of Solar Energy for Global Sustainability},
author = {Hernandez, Rebecca R. and Armstrong, Alona and Burney, Jennifer and Ryan, Greer and Moore-O'Leary, Kara and Diedhiou, Ibrahima and Grodsky, Steven M. and Saul-Gershenz, Leslie and Davis, Rob and Macknick, Jordan E and Mulvaney, Dustin and Heath, Garvin A and Easter, Shane B. and Hoffacker, Madison K. and Allen, Michael F. and Kammen, Daniel M.},
abstractNote = {The strategic engineering of solar energy technologies - from individual rooftop modules to large solar energy power plants - can confer significant synergistic outcomes across industrial and ecological boundaries. Here, we propose techno-ecological synergy (TES), a framework for engineering mutually beneficial relationships between technological and ecological systems, as an approach to augment the sustainability of solar energy across a diverse suite of recipient environments, including land, food, water, and built-up systems. We provide a conceptual model and framework to describe 16 TESs of solar energy and characterize 20 potential techno-ecological synergistic outcomes of their use. For each solar energy TES, we also introduce metrics and illustrative assessments to demonstrate techno-ecological potential across multiple dimensions. The numerous applications of TES to solar energy technologies are unique among energy systems and represent a powerful frontier in sustainable engineering to minimize unintended consequences on nature associated with a rapid energy transition.},
doi = {10.1038/s41893-019-0309-z},
journal = {Nature Sustainability},
number = ,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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