Agrisolar refers to the integration of solar PV projects within an agricultural activity. It includes a variety of business models, co-designed between the solar and the agricultural sectors such as Agrivoltaic (or Agri-PV) systems, the deployment of PV on the roof of agricultural buildings or, powering agricultural machinery with solar power.
Agrisolar offers a turnkey solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector, deploy additional solar capacity, promote more sustainable agricultural practices, reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture, and drive rural development.
Agri-PV systems are Agrisolar solutions where a PV installation and a sustainable agricultural activity are co-located, and light management is performed. In other words, Agri-PV projects optimise the quantity and quality of light that reaches crops and the PV cells.
Through Agrisolar, solar contributes to make agriculture more sustainable, competitive, and resilient to climate change. Furthermore, it is fully beneficial to farmers, with whom the solar sector is working to improve agricultural yields while simultaneously generating clean electricity.
An experimental Agri-PV system with potatoes in Germany led to a 103% yield when compared to a control, while the PV systems generated 83% of the electricity that would have been generated on the similar plot of land, leading to an 86% increase in land use efficiency.
Co-locating solar above agriculture can contribute to lowering the water needs of agriculture by shielding crops from heat and by reducing evapotranspiration. One study indicated that, depending on the level of shading from PV panels, water savings could reach between 14-29%.
If Agrisolar was deployed on only 1% of Europe’s arable land, its technical capacity would amount to more than 900 GW, more than 6 times the current installed PV capacity in the EU.
Agrisolar systems enable a more efficient use of land, through the co-location of agriculture and PV.
Agrisolar systems enable a more responsible use of water in agriculture.
The Agrisolar workstream
The Agrisolar workstream
The aim of the Agrisolar workstream is to boost the deployment of Agrisolar solutions across Europe by shaping the EU’s agricultural and energy policy agendas. Specifically, it aims to:
• Mainstream Agrisolar within the EU’s agriculture agenda including the Farm to Fork Strategy.
• Share knowledge and best practices for the development to enable the development of sustainable Agrisolar, projects, infrastructure, practices, and policies across Europe
• Ensure coherence in the definition of Agrisolar and Agri-PV across European member states.
• Create business opportunities for Agrisolar project developers by bringing together European energy, agriculture, and rural development communities.
Join the Agrisolar workstream.become a member
"The Agrisolar workstream is key for this emerging PV segment, which simultaneously tackles two major climate challenges, decarbonising electricity production and transitioning to sustainable food systems."
Our major accomplishments
- Publication of first Agrisolar Best Practice Guidelines
- Dissemination of Agrisolar to European and member state audiences
- European Commission launches first Horizon Europe Call dedicated to Agrivoltaics
Interview with Eva Vandest, chair of the Agrisolar Workstream
The future of the Agrisolar sector in Europe looks bright, but it must be built on continued collaboration between the solar and agriculture sectors. Together we must develop the best business cases for electricity and food production, promoting designs adapted to the broad variety of agricultural practices, and integrating environmental and social standards.Read the interview