A large field of photovoltaic systems for generating solar energy near the Brandenburg municipality of Eiche, Germany. Paul Zinken / picture alliance via Getty Images By Gero Rueter Fabian Karthaus grew up with solar energy. "My father built the first photovoltaic system on the barn roof and you could see that it worked," he says. Today, the farmer is 33 and owns two large solar power systems himself. Berries now grow underneath one of them. Five years ago, Karthaus took over his father’s farm near the western German town of Paderborn and runs it on the side. The trained electrical engineer works during the day as a product manager for agricultural electronics because: "I can’t feed a family with the earnings from growing 80 hectares of field beans, grain, rapeseed, and corn crops." Fabian Karthaus grows berries beneath solar panels and is looking to expand in the future. Heat and drought have also caused a significant drop in yield over recent years. "My wife and I started thinking about how we could continue to operate the farm in a meaningful way," Karthaus says. That’s how the idea of growing berries under a solar roof with translucent modules was born. […]

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