Fraunhofer ISE and Farmers' Association call for market-oriented anchoring of Agri-PV in EEG

In a joint position paper, the German Farmers' Association (DBV) and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE call for agri-photovoltaics (Agri-PV) not to be limited to arable land in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). DBV and Fraunhofer ISE welcome the integration of Agri-PV as a »special solar system« in the EEG, but see a need for improvement at various points.
»The integration of Agri-PV into the EEG special tenders is a step in the right direction,« says Andreas Bett, head of Fraunhofer ISE. What is needed, however, are »joint efforts« to be able to step out of the niche and into the market. »Other countries are already well ahead of us here.«
DBV Deputy Secretary General Udo Hemmerling calls for Agri-PV to be »integrated into existing structures« and not to consume additional land. However, limiting the segment to »arable land with simultaneous crop cultivation« makes little sense, he said. Agri-PV concepts are also particularly suitable for use in fruit growing and for special and permanent crops. Fruit, berries and wine, for example, often need to be protected from hail, heavy rain, frost and sunburn. Here, solar modules could »replace existing structures such as hail protection systems or foil tunnels anyway,« the position paper says. On grassland, there are also promising initial experiences with vertically installed bifacial solar modules. Conventional ground-mounted systems, on the other hand, are »associated with considerable interventions in agricultural structure and the environment.«
DBV and Fraunhofer ISE also advocate exploiting the synergies of the technology. »Only if agricultural management remains possible without significant restrictions will the advantages of agri-photovoltaics really come to bear.« If photovoltaics is to be integrated into agricultural production, it must be subordinate to it.
Since the three system types in the segment of special solar systems Agri-PV, PV roofing for parking lots and floating photovoltaic system are new to the market, a quota for testing must be fixed in the sense of equal treatment, the position paper demands. »Because so far there are no empirical values in Germany as far as the exact costs of the three technologies are concerned. It is therefore quite conceivable that Agri-PV will go away empty-handed under the current tender conditions in 2022.« The Federal Network Agency will present concrete requirements for this segment in the EEG by October.

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