‘Best of Both Worlds’ – Agrivoltaics
Fraunhofer is researching the best of both worlds – combining agricultural land and Solar
Agrivoltaics denotes the approach of using agricultural land to simultaneously produce agricultural crops and generate PV electricity. Agrivoltaics covers a wide spectrum of intensity and type of agricultural use and the corresponding additional costs for the construction of the PV system. This spectrum ranges from the cultivation of special crops and intensive arable crops with special PV mounting systems to using land for extensive grazing with marginal adjustments on the PV side.
Thereby, Agrivoltaics increases land-use efficiency and enables the expansion of PV capacity while retaining fertile arable areas for agriculture.
Agrivoltaics technology has developed very dynamically in recent years and can be found in almost all regions of the world. The installed Agrivoltaics power increased exponentially from app. 5 MWp in 2012 to app. 2.9 GWp in 2018 to more than 14 GWp in 2021 with national funding programmes in Japan (since 2013), China (ca. 2014), France (since 2017), the USA (since 2018) and most recently Korea.
Quick-Facts: Agrivoltaics Global installed power of app. 14 GWp, Technical potential in Germany of app. 1700 GWp
The advantages are clear: there is an enormous land area potential, it is less expensive than small rooftop PV systems and there are additional benefits for agriculture including protection against losses due to hail, frost and drought
The challenges: what are the reliable prognoses of agricultural yields, how is the optimization of the plant design with regard to the type of farming and how to secure agriculture as the main use for agrivolatics when combined with livestock farming.
Discover the best of both worlds at the website of Fraunhofer ISE