Agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics denotes the approach of using agricultural land to simultaneously produce agricultural crops and generate PV electricity. Agrivoltaics covers a wide spectrum of intensity and type of agricultural use and the corresponding additional costs for the construction of the PV system. This spectrum ranges from the cultivation of special crops and intensive arable crops with special PV mounting systems to using land for extensive grazing with marginal adjustments on the PV side.
Thereby, Agrivoltaics increases land-use efficiency and enables the expansion of PV capacity while retaining fertile arable areas for agriculture.

Agrivoltaics technology has developed very dynamically in recent years and can be found in almost all regions of the world. The installed Agrivoltaics power increased exponentially from app. 5 MWp in 2012 to app. 2.9 GWp in 2018 to more than 14 GWp in 2021 with national funding programmes in Japan (since 2013), China (ca. 2014), France (since 2017), the USA (since 2018) and most recently Korea.

Quick-Facts: Agrivoltaics

  • Global installed power of  app. 14 GWp
  • Technical potential in Germany of app. 1.7 TWp
  • Advantages:
    • enormous land area potential
    • less expensive than small rooftop PV systems
    • Additional benefits for agriculture including protection against losses due to hail, frost and drought
  • Challenges:
    • dual land usage not foreseen in legal framework
    • no rights to EU agricultural subvention for farmers
    • no feed-in tariff according to the German renewable energy law

Application options

Agrivoltaic plant near Lake Constance
© Fraunhofer ISE
The Agrivoltaic plant near Lake Constance in Heggelbach, Germany.
Double usage of agricultural areas
© Fraunhofer ISE
Double usage of agricultural areas allows photovoltaics to be installed over fertile areas without eliminating these resources.
shrimp photovoltaic greenhouse
© Fraunhofer ISE
Photovoltaic tunnel for breeding shrimps in Vietnam: Breeding shrimps in closed systems on land presents a promising approach to make careful use of land and water resources in the region.