Solar Energy Advancements in Agriculture and Food Production Systems - Chapter 5 - Agrivoltaics: solar power generation and food production

Elsevier, Solar Energy Advancements in Agriculture and Food Production Systems, 2022, Pages 159-210
Max Trommsdorff, Ipsa Sweta Dhal, Özal Emre Özdemir, Daniel Ketzer, Nora Weinberger, Christine Rösch

The energy transition is one of the greatest challenges of our time. While photovoltaics (PVs) became the cheapest technology for generating electricity in many regions, the rising development of ground-mounted PV requires large areas and, hence, competes with other land use forms such as agriculture. Agrivoltaics enables dual use of land for both agriculture and PV power generation considerably increasing land-use efficiency, allowing for an expansion of PV capacity on agricultural land while maintaining farming activities. In recent years, agrivoltaics has experienced a dynamic development mainly driven by Japan, China, France, and Germany. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the current state of agrivoltaics starting with a definition and classification of typical systems. Section 5.2 sheds light on basic agricultural implications in agrivoltaic systems such as light availability, further microclimatic impacts, and crop selection. In Section 5.3, we address typical technical structures and agricultural applications distinguishing between interspace PV and overhead PV systems. Section 5.4 outlines relevant characteristics of PV modules used for agrivoltaics including standard crystalline silicon and thin-film cell technologies as well as emerging module technologies. Section 5.5 provides an economic analysis of agrivoltaic systems based on a location in southern Germany and Section 5.6 summarizes the most relevant facts about the preliminary German standard DIN SPEC 91434 published in April 2021. In Section 5.7, we present the results of a case study on societal implications conducted in southern Germany within the research project APV-RESOLA. Section 5.8 provides brief country profiles of the existing policies around the world while Section 5.9 concludes and outlines perspectives of agrivoltaics.