Combining solar panels with plants for sustainable energy and food production: state of the art

Sampurna Panda, Rakesh Kumar, Babita Panda, Bhagabat Panda, Ashish Raj


The need for alternative energy sources becomes extensive because of the escalating cost of fossil fuels. The goal of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of combining photovoltaics and agriculture for better yield. Photovoltaic (PV) solar plants will compete with farms for available land. In this study, the methodologies are discussed how it is possible to maximize land utilization by placing solar arrays and food crops on the same plot of land. The term is proposed "agrivoltaic system" to describe this setup. Conventional solutions (discrimination of agricultural and energy extracting) were compared to two agrivoltaic schemes with varying density of PV arrays using land equivalent ratios. We utilized a crop model to simulate the amount of sunlight reaching the crop from an array of solar panels and to speculate on the yield reduction that would result from the partial shading. These early findings suggest that agrivoltaic systems may be highly effective; the two densities of PV panels were anticipated to boost worldwide land production by 73%. One possible explanation for the success of these hybrid systems is the presence of facilitation mechanisms analogous to those seen in agroforestry. At the end it is suggested that in places where arable land is rare, new solar plants may find it beneficial to produce both power and food.


agrivoltaics; agroforestry; hybrid systems; land equivalent ratios; photovoltaics

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International Journal of Applied Power Engineering (IJAPE)
p-ISSN 2252-8792, e-ISSN 2722-2624

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