The rate of solar power generation is increasing globally at a significant increase in the net electricity demand, leading to competition for agricultural lands and forest invasion. Agrivoltaic systems, which integrate photovoltaic (PV) systems with crop production, are potential solutions to this situation. Currently, there are two types of agrivoltaic systems: 1) systems involving agricultural activities on available land in pre-existing PV facilities, and 2) systems intentionally designed and installed for the co-production of agricultural crops and PV power. Agrivoltaic systems can boost electricity generation efficiency and capacity, as well as the land equivalent ratio. They also generate revenue for farmers and entrepreneurs through the sale of electricity and crops. Therefore, these systems have the potential to sustain energy, food, the environment, the economy, and society. Despite the numerous advantages of both types of agrivoltaic systems, few studies on utilizing the available land area under existing ground-mounted PV systems for agricultural crop production have been conducted. Moreover, with several conventional solar power plant projects currently underway around the world, an expanding trend is anticipated. As a result, this article offers practical advice for agrivoltaic systems on how to implement an agricultural area under ground-mounted PV power systems without agricultural pre-plans. These systems are useful for policymaking and optimizing land use efficiency in terms of energy production, food supply, environmental impact, local economy, and sustainable societies.
Tag Archive for: Land Use Optimization
This paper proposes techno-ecological synergy (TES), a framework for engineering mutually beneficial relationships between technological and ecological systems, as an approach to augment the sustainability of solar energy across a diverse suite of recipient environments, including land, food, water, and built-up systems.
Given the proven technical, economic, and environmental advantages provided by agrivoltaic systems, increased proliferation is anticipated, which necessitates accounting for the nuances of community resistance to solar development on farmland.
The identified concerns in this study can be used to refine the technology to increase adoption among farmers and to translate the potential of agrivoltaics to address the competition for land between solar PV and agriculture into changes in solar siting, farming practice, and land-use decision-making.
This report importantly provides a critical lens through which the importance of policy and land use analysis is justified as a response to conflicting community feedback about the agriculture-solar shift. The findings of this report are particularly relevant for the LACDRP, the client, as the agency has been tasked with identifying opportunities to preserve agriculture across the County and supporting local renewable energy resources. The agency will use the findings of this report to guide updates to the Los Angeles County General Plan and the Los Angeles County Climate Action Plan. This could serve as a guide for the future development of agrivoltaic operations in similar geographic locations with similar concerns related to housing and agricultural land use situations.