Agrophotovoltaics (APV) denotes approaches to use agricultural areas simultaneously to produce food and to generate PV electricity. In this way, APV increases land-use efficiency and enables PV capacity to be expanded while still retaining fertile arable areas for agriculture.

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

Quick-Facts: Agrophotovoltaics (APV)

  • Global installed power of  app. 2.9 GW
  • Technical potential in Germany of app. 1700 GWp
  • 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

Agrophotovoltaic plant near Lake Constance
© BayWa r.e.

The agrophotovoltaic 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.

Our R&D services

Our services for agrophotovoltaic plants cover all project phases: From feasibility studies, through the selection of suitable technology for the intended site, system design and PV yield prediction, to monitoring and optimization of the plant in operation.