Agrivoltaic systems deliver numerous ancillary benefits to the land, improving the resilience of an agricultural system to extreme heat, water stress, hail and frost, whilst maintaining habitats for vital pollinators.
With both energy and food security increasingly important in the face of global challenges, agrivoltaics can provide multiple solutions without requiring land to be taken out of production, whilst also supporting farmers to earn extra income.
Over the lifespan of an agrivoltaic project, the aim is to restore the health of the soil, improve biodiversity and sequester carbon through ad hoc regenerative practices, returning the land parcel to a more optimal condition whilst providing numerous community benefits.
By having panels above the crops, the damaging effects of hail, heavy rain, and sun scorching can be mitigated. The panels also provide frost protection and a longer-term solution to the effects of climate change.
The shading provided by the panels creates a cooler humid microclimate and reduces the amount of water consumption required. Structures can be designed to harvest rainwater from the panels and intelligent irrigation systems produced. Significant farming cost savings can be achieved and water management plans implemented making use of every valuable drop.
Image copyright Fraunhofer ISE.