First International Conference on Agrivoltaics to be held in October 2020

September 14, 2020

Agrivoltaics enables the dual use of land for harvesting agriculture and solar energy. It not only offers opportunities for food and energy production but also can make a valuable contribution to protect soil and plants. The first international conference on agrivoltaic systems AgriVoltaics2020 has been rescheduled due to the Corona pandemic and will now take place on October 14-16, 2020 as an online event. This year’s motto is "Launching Agrivoltaics World-Wide".

© Fraunhofer ISE
Sketch of a PV field mounted over crops. The idea of agrivoltaics, that is, combining crop and energy harvesting, was introduced by the founder of Fraunhofer ISE Prof. Dr. Adolf Goetzberger and his colleague Dr. Armin Zastrow as early as 1981.

"Today it is becoming increasingly apparent that we must develop ways to bring different branches with similar needs together," says Max Trommsdorff, team head of Agrivoltaics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. He is referring to the fact that food crops and sustainable energy production need not compete for land, but rather can cooperate intelligently. This will benefit both nature and agriculture in all climate zones. "This interconnection, often referred to as “nexus”, is a focus of both donors and development banks alike," says Trommsdorff knowingly. “And now is the perfect time to tackle this complex topic in the form of a scientific conference."

After lengthy deliberation, the organizers of the AgriVoltaics2020 decided to hold it online so that participants would not encounter difficulties due to travel restrictions. A virtual conference platform will be provided, offering full access to presentations, posters and submissions. In addition, it will be possible to communicate with other conference participants online. The conference presentations can be accessed on the virtual conference platform up to February 2021.

"We are surprised ourselves by the large number of submissions, their scientific quality and the large response worldwide to the conference, which is reflected in the numerous inquiries on the topic," explains Werner Warmuth, Managing Director of PSE Conferences & Consulting GmbH, which is organizing the event together with the French Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) and Fraunhofer ISE.

The interdisciplinary program for the three-day AgriVoltaics2020 conference is available online on the conference website. Scientists from 21 countries will provide in-depth insights into the latest research and best practices in the field of agro-photovoltaics. Sufficient breaks for scientific exchange and networking are planned. In addition to crop cultivation under photovoltaic modules, the conference will focus on the technical, social, political and economic aspects. In extended talks, renowned scientists from various continents will report on experiences with agrivoltaics in Japan, East Africa and the USA.

Next year, the AgriVoltaics2021 conference is to be held in Freiburg area, with Fraunhofer ISE taking over the scientific leadership.


Link to the conference page: