SolarPower Europe launched a Briefing Paper that aims to boost the development of agricultural photovoltaics (“Agri-PV”) in Europe. Agri-PV refers to the smart combination of agricultural infrastructure with a photovoltaic installation. The potential for Agri-PV in the EU is immense: if Agri-PV were deployed on only 1% of Europe’s arable land, its technical capacity would be over 700 GW.
Agri-PV offers an innovative, efficient, and cost-effective solution to simultaneously promote sustainable agriculture and the clean energy transition. The multiple variety of solutions unlock disruptive applications that capitalise on synergies between solar and agriculture. Installed directly above crops, solar provides shade, protects crops against hail or frost, enables stable crop yields, and increases the electrical yield of PV panels. Solar can be installed on agricultural hangars or on greenhouses and can support the development of modern infrastructure that improves the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
The Briefing, titled “Agri-PV: how solar enables the clean energy transition in rural areas” outlines the synergies that exist between the objectives of key objectives of the European Union’s policy frameworks for the agri-food sector and Agri-PV installations. Four key EU initiatives are identified as having a significant potential for the solar industry: the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and the Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative. To unlock these synergies SolarPower Europe puts forward 6 key actions to kick-start the growth of the Agri-PV sector in Europe.