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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Experimental results, integrated model validation, and economic aspects of agrivoltaic systems at northern latitudes

Campana, Pietro Elia; Stridh, Bengt; Horndahl, Torsten; Svensson, Sven-Erik; Zainali, Sebastian; Lu, Silvia Ma; Zidane, Tekai Eddine Khalil; De Luca, Paolo; Amaducci, Stefano; Colauzzi, Michele

Abstract

Agrivoltaic systems, which allow the coexistence of crop and electricity production on the same land, are an integrated water-energy-food nexus solution that allows the simultaneous attainment of conflicting Sustainable Development Goals. This study aims to analyse experimental results on the responses of ley grass yield and quality to shadings in the first agrivoltaic system in Sweden. It also aims to validate an integrated modelling platform for assessing agrivoltaic systems' performances before installation. An economic analysis is carried out to compare the profitability of agrivoltaic versus conventional ground-mounted photovoltaic systems and, using a Monte Carlo Analysis, to identify the parameters that most affect the profitability. Despite the agrivoltaic systems' supporting structures and photovoltaic modules producing an average similar to 25% reduction in photosynthetically active radiation at ground level, no statistically significant difference was observed between the yield of the samples under the agrivoltaic system compared to the yield of the samples in the reference area. The agrivoltaic system attained land equivalent ratios of 1.27 and 1.39 in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The validation results of the integrated modelling platform show that the sub-model concerning the crop yield response to shading conditions tends to underestimate similar to 7% the actual average crop yield under the agrivoltaic system. The results of the economic analysis show that, from a net present value perspective, agrivoltaic systems have a profitability that is similar to 30 times higher than a conventional crop rotation in Sweden.

Keywords

Agrivoltaic; Soil moisture; Leaf area index; Integrated modelling; Shading; Validation; Profitability

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production
2024, Volume: 437, article number: 140235Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD