German researchers evaluate the business case for agrivoltaics, calling for new regulatory frameworks to secure adoption

October 09, 2020 | Case Study

As we pointed out earlier this year, the co-location of photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure and agriculture – a concept known as agrivoltaics – is poised to steadily gain traction in the coming years. This trend is backed by the potential of agrivoltaics to optimize land use while providing multiple advantages across the water-energy-food nexus, namely reduction in water evaporation levels, increased crop production, and higher power output; all caused by the modules' casted shadow on the crops.

Driven by these benefits, a number of countries have implemented measures to promote the adoption of agrivoltaics. For instance, the German government kick-started the Agrophotovoltaics Innovation Group Resource Efficient Land Use project (dubbed APV-RESOLA) in 2015, which is currently led by a group of academic and industry players that includes Fraunhofer ISE, the University of Hohenheim, and BayWa r.e. In 2016, APV-RESOLA inaugurated its first agrivoltaic pilot in the Heggelbach farm community, located in southwest Germany, which has been used to evaluate the business case of these novel systems in hopes of promoting adoption.