Agrivoltaic potential on grape farms in India

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Aggressive growth of land-based solar photovoltaic (PV) farms can create a land use conflict with agricultural production. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved using the concept of agrivoltaics, which is co-development of land area for both solar PV and agriculture. To investigate and quantify PV generation potential, without significantly harming agriculture output, this study explores the viability of agrivoltaic farms deployment on existing grape farms in India. Considering the shade tolerance of grapes, an techno-economicanalysis is run for the installation of PV systems in the area available between the trellises on a grape farm. The electrical energy generation potential is determined per unit area and economic benefits for the cultivators is quantified over a number of design options. The results show the economic value of the grape farms deploying the proposed agrivoltaic systems may increase more than 15 times as compared to conventional farming, while maintaining approximately the same grape production. If this dual use of land is implemented nationwide, it can make a significant impact by generating over 16,000 GWh electricity, which has the potential of meeting the energy demands of more than 15 million people. In addition, grape-based agrivoltaics can be implemented in rural areas to enable village electrification.

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd., Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seta.2017.08.004

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Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments