Today, during the SolarPower Summit, SolarPower Europe released the Agrisolar Best Practice Guidelines. This report, developed by SolarPower Europe’s Agrisolar workstream is a continuation of the “Agrisolar briefing” published in 2020, which shed light on the main business models and benefits of Agrisolar. These new guidelines focus on establishing standards and best practices for different Agrisolar business models, in order to build trust and create a dialogue with policymakers, support the harmonisation of national frameworks, and advise local and international actors on how to successfully develop Agrisolar projects.
Agrisolar is a rapidly expanding sector with incredible potential. It brings together two major sectors of the economy: agriculture and energy. The first edition of the SolarPower Europe Agrisolar Best Practices Guidelines represents a fruitful collaboration between the solar and agricultural stakeholders, to enhance synergies to advance the energy and climate transition.
Collaboration between these two sectors is essential for tackling one of the most important issues at the core of our modern livelihood, food production, and electricity generation: access to land. Agrisolar enables society to move away from the traditional land-use competition towards a new paradigm based on synergies between agriculture and renewable energy. Moreover, Agrisolar can deliver a much-needed boost to sustainable rural development and can increase biodiversity protection.
SolarPower Europe launched the Agrisolar Workstream in April 2020 amid the largest health and economic crisis of the last hundred years. The Workstream plans to leverage the EU’s renewable energy ambition to achieve the nine objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. The ambition is to foster a more sustainable and qualitative agriculture, which is respectful of its environment and able to cope with the increasing environmental hazards related to climate change.
Eva Vandest, Chair of SolarPower Europe’s Agrisolar Workstream, said: “We are extremely proud to have led the publication of the first edition of the SolarPower Europe Agrisolar Best Practices Guidelines, in collaboration with the members of the Agrisolar Workstream and agricultural sector partners. The 19 Best Practices covered in these guidelines will help anyone who wants to develop an Agrisolar project ensure that it performs both as an agricultural and a PV project, in addition to delivering environmental and financial benefits.”
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, commented: “Now is the time to reap the benefits of Agrisolar by supporting its development across the EU. We will maximise these benefits if Agrisolar project always begin by defining what we have called the ‘Sustainable Agriculture Concept’. By integrating this approach into the project development, developers of Agrisolar projects will ensure the project functions correctly as an agricultural project and as a PV generation installation, in addition to delivering socioeconomic and environmental services.”
Miguel Herrero Cangas, Coordinator of SolarPower Europe’s Agrisolar Workstream,added: “These guidelines are a first step towards a thriving EU-wide Agrisolar sector. To foster the development of sustainable Agrisolar projects, Member States must establish Agrisolar enabling frameworks, based on the approach of the Sustainable Agriculture Concept. This should remove existing regulatory and administrative barriers, providing targeted financial and technical support for all stakeholders who wish to develop Agrisolar projects.”
Photo Credit: Amarenco