The concept of “Agrovoltaic” or “Agrivoltaic” refers to the joint development of the same land area for solar photovoltaic and agriculture, allowing the cohabitation of two key sectors.
With the implementation and development of solar farms as an essential part of achieving climate neutrality, there has been an exponential increase in the interest and need to explore new opportunities where there is a complementarity with agricultural activities, so that these can benefit from the characteristics of solar farms at the time of their development.
Promoting collaboration and coexistence between agriculture and photovoltaics is essential in order to minimize competition for land use, favoring the sustainability of photovoltaic plants and increasing agricultural efficiency.
Solar energy is considered the most cost-effective and scalable clean energy. With the aim of increasing the sustainability of the agri-food system, Agrovoltaic is established as an efficient and innovative solution to meet the challenges of the future.
What is Agrovoltaics?
The fast growing concept of Agrovoltaics, which has great potential, refers to the joint development of the same land area for solar PV and agriculture, allowing the cohabitation of two key sectors. Several types of Agrovoltaics have already been developed around the world, with a wide variety of innovative approaches emerging in recent years that will be a key part of the energy and climate transition.
Compatibility with Agriculture
Agrovoltaics provides an effective, efficient and innovative solution to the competition for land use through the creation of synergies between renewable energies and agriculture, while promoting sustainable rural development and the protection of biodiversity and the ecosystem.
This is one of the main objectives of the so-called Green Deal, which establishes a series of measures aimed at favoring the decarbonization of the sector and in which Agrovoltaics plays a fundamental role.
The fast growing concept of Agrovoltaics or Agrivoltaics, which has great potential, refers to the joint development of the same land area for solar PV and agriculture, allowing the cohabitation of two key sectors. Several types of Agrovoltaics have already been developed around the world, with a wide variety of innovative approaches emerging in recent years that will be a key part of the energy and climate transition.
1. Protection against high temperatures and extreme weather conditions.
When plants reach the so-called light saturation point, light is no longer beneficial to the crop, increasing water demand and potentially causing damage and hindering crop growth. Solar panels can be adjusted to allow the optimal amount of sunlight.
2. Reduction of evaporation and increase of soil moisture.
The shade provided by the solar panels leads to a reduction in water evaporation and can achieve savings of up to 29%. Consequently, it helps to increase soil moisture, maintaining an optimal water level for plants.
3. Improvement of the ecosystem.
The integration of Agrovoltaics contributes to sustainable development and the protection and improvement of biodiversity and the ecosystem by prohibiting the use of herbicides, the use of hives and animal husbandry within the perimeter of the land and the installation of a perimeter fence with vegetation, among others.
4. Increased electricity production and efficiency.
The existence of crops under the solar panels helps to reduce the temperature of these, increasing their productivity by up to +10% (Oregon State University).