How does the combination of agriculture and energy production work?

Profitability

The costs of agrivoltaic-systems vary and depend, among other things, on the installed capacity and the agricultural management.

Impacts on costs as well as revenues of agriculture are also highly dependent on location and system design.

Economy

General statement about the economic viability of agrivoltaics can hardly be made due to the diversity of its application.

The investment costs of agrivoltaic-systems tend to be higher than those of ground-mounted PV systems. This is mainly due to the more complex substructure, the use of special modules and the soil-conserving installation. Operating costs, on the other hand, can decrease because lease costs are shared and land maintenance is taken care of by the farmer.

Agri-PV systems are economically particularly suitable in areas of agriculture where there are high costs for protection devices, which can be replaced by an agrivoltaic-system.

Business models

In an agrivoltaics business model, usually more actors are involved than in a ground-mounted photovoltaic system.

Involved actors have different functions:

1) Provision of the land (ownership)

2) Agricultural management of the area

3) Provision of the PV system (ownership / investment)

4) Operation of the PV system

In the simplest business model, all four functions can be performed by one party, typically a farm. This is often expected for smaller and farm-scale agrivoltaic-systems.

If the land is not owned by the farm, long-term contracts, typically 20 years, for land lease and usage are required.