How does the combination of agriculture and energy production work?

Agriculture

In recent years, increasing weather extremes worldwide have shown that global warming is not just an abstract threat. Agricultural businesses in particular are already facing complex challenges due to climate change. Dry periods, frost or hail events are becoming more frequent and more intense, putting yields at risk.

Hence, agriculture must rethink and adapt. Agrivoltaics aims to contribute to this transition and make agricultural systems more resilient to climate change.

Crops

Generally, all crops can be cultivated in an agrivoltaics-system.

However, some crops are better suited than others. This depends, among other things, on how much light the crop needs to grow optimally.

The graph shows that "sun plants" react strongly to light and growth saturation only occurs at high illuminance. "Shade plants" are not as sensitive to light and are therefore better suited for growing in a partially shaded agrivoltaic-system.

Arable farming

Two results were obtained in the APV RESOLA pilot project.

In a climatically "average" trial year, shading by the Agri-PV system led to yield losses of up to 20% (potato, celery and winter wheat) compared to an unshaded reference. In a hot and dry trial year, the Agri-PV system achieved positive effects on crop yield. Potato yield was increased by 10% and winter wheat yield by 3%.

Agri-PV im Ackerbau

Viticulture

The increasing temperature and solar radiation due to climate change can strongly influence the sugar and alcohol contents in wine.

This has an immense impact on the quality of the wines. To counteract this, the cultivation of wine in combination with a wide variety of agrivoltaic-systems is already being tested in France.

Fruit and vegetable growing

Fruit and vegetable cultivation is characterized by a high value added per hectare of cultivated land.

Since crops such as berries or apples are also often very susceptible to external influences, expensive protective structures such as hail nets or films are often used in fruit and vegetable cultivation to protect against weathering.

These protective structures could easily be replaced by agrivoltaic-systems. It is not only the expected increase in social acceptance that leads to agrivoltaics being seen as having probably the greatest potential.

Agri-PV im Obstbau