Agrivoltaics - combining solar PV and Agriculture
Agrivoltaics might be a technology which opens up completely new possibilities for utility scale solar PV installations without endangering food production. By installing solar PV modules in a way which makes agriculture below or between the modules still possible, agrivoltaics offers the possibility for a dual use of arable land.
The conflict between agriculture and renewable energies is long, as in particular solar PV projects need large swaths of land to produce significant amounts of electricity. Agrivoltaics can solve this problem by offering more efficient use of land. More than that, research concluded that such installations might indeed be beneficial for the crops or berries which grow underneath them as these are protected from harsh climates such as excessive heat, storms or hail.
In a recently published guideline the Fraunhofer Institute details their long research on this technology and provides a guidance for farmers, project developers, investors, and land owners. Whilst the global potential of this technology is extraordinarily high, the experience of applying a mature technology in this comparatively new way are still quite low, and this guideline can help to overcome barriers in the further development of agrivoltaic projects.
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