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Agrivoltaics has been around since the 1980’s but only recently has it begun to re-emerge as a viable option for power generation. This is due to land scarcity and climate related issues affecting food production. The concept of agrivoltaics had the goal of finding a way to combine the production of crops with the generation of electricity. The idea was to use the land for both purposes, allowing for a more efficient use of resources. The synergistic benefits provided by PV panels would alleviate climatic pressures on plants and enhance the overall productive capacity of land per Ha due to food and power being created. This was a step beyond the initial idea of placing PV panels on glasshouses but also situating them out in the fields and orchards.  Over the past couple of decades significant research has been deployed into this field and a picture is evolving for the optimum setups for which crop and which PV system to use.  





Today, agrivoltaics is being applied in a variety of settings. In some cases, solar panels are installed directly on the ground and are used to generate electricity while crops or livestock are grown or reared in the same area.  In other cases, the solar panels are mounted above the crops, allowing them to receive sunlight while the solar panels generate electricity.  In both cases, the aim is to maximize the use of the land.





The potential market size for agrivoltaics is immense, due to the amount of agricultural land available which allows for a huge potential of energy production.  Additionally, the price is becoming increasingly cost-effective, with the cost of solar panels decreasing and the improvement of technology resulting in increased interest from farmers and landowners especially in an energy crisis. 

Agrivoltaics has the potential to be more economical than traditional solar PV.  It allows for the land to be used as a dual purpose (seen as dual income). This means that the cost of land can be spread across two different sources of income, making it more profitable than traditional stand-alone solar PV or farming.  The amount of research into the field is providing optimal scenarios for the best income generation.  Additionally, agrivoltaics has the ability to improve crop yields (dependent on the crop) and reduce water usage, making it even more cost-effective.




The benefits of agrivoltaics are numerous. It allows for the efficient use of land, reducing the amount of land needed for energy production and thereby reducing the pressures on the natural environment caused by population growth; it allows for the production of both electricity and crops, creating a more efficient use of resources; it can reduce water usage and increase crop yields, making it more cost-effective than traditional solar PV.  Finally, it provides a reliable source of renewable energy, helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.





A concern with agrivoltaics is that it can impact certain crop yields and is expensive to install relative to traditional ground mounted systems. This is because the solar panels can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the crops, thereby reducing the crop yields.  Current research has shown that particular crops can benefit from shade due to lowering the heat and drought stress on them.  The increased moisture retention beneath the panels also benefits the circuitry associated with them for more efficient power production.  To overcome these issues, careful design and analysis must be done to ensure that the solar panels do not negatively impact crop yields.



Agrivoltaics has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry. It allows for the efficient use of land, reducing the amount of land needed for energy production and is becoming increasingly cost-effective.

Care in design, crop selection and implementation are needed to produce the desired synergistic outcome for both crop and power performance.  If done properly, agrivoltaics could be an important part of the renewable energy revolution.

Agrivoltaics or agrophotovoltaics is co-developing the same area of land for both solar ph
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