Agrivoltaics: Opportunities For Agriculture And Energy Transition

The global population is growing — and demand for food is growing along with it. At the same time, land for installing more ground-mounted PV systems is urgently needed to tackle the climate crisis.There is growing competition for space, especially in densely populated areas.

The demand for space to build ground-mounted PV systems is becoming an increasingly decisive factor as falling costs have now made them economically viable, even without state subsidies. The climate crisis is also presenting ever more challenges for farming water scarcity, extreme weather and overall rising temperatures necessitate new measures to protect crops and soils from adverse conditions. Many farms are already under strain from regulatory frameworks and economic uncertainty. This significantly limits the scope for protecting water and wildlife on the one hand and stabilizing or even increasing crop yields on the other.

Agrivoltaics could mitigate the future competition for space with the dual use of land. It offers the possibility of installing large PV systems on open land while keeping the ground clear for food production. This dual use of land for agriculture and photovoltaics can be particularly beneficial for areas that are good for farming due to their fertile soil and temperate climate and are a suitable location for ground-mounted PV systems because they receive high levels of solar radiation.

Solar energy is becoming an integral pillar of the energy supply for the future alongside wind power, so there is seemingly an urgent need to integrate PV systems effectively into different areas of human activity with good public backing. Calculations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE show that the installed PV capacity in Germany needs to be increased by a factor of six to eight by 2045 if the country’s energy system is to become climate neutral.

Read The Full Article