Solar researchers call for extra funding for particularly costly Agri-PV

A network of German research institutions, associations and companies involved in Agri-PV - the parallel use of agricultural land for photovoltaics – has released a position paper calling for changes to German legislation in this area. The »Arbeitsgruppe Begleitforschung Agri-Photovoltaik« (Agri-Photovoltaics Accompanying Research Working Group), which includes universities and institutes as well as the German Farmers' Association, the law firm Becker Büttner Held and the Agri-PV provider Next2Sun GmbH, advocates, among other things, equal treatment of Agri-PV projects with other energy plants under planning law. Agri-PV is not considered a »privileged building project« under German building law - unlike conventional ground-mounted systems - which makes approval procedures much more difficult.
Above all, however, the working group is in favor of amending the country’s Renewable Energy Law (EEG), which does not differentiate between types of construction when subsidizing Agri-PV. The constructionally particularly complex variant of highly elevated systems, in which even large agricultural machines can operate underneath the modules, therefore competes directly with far more cost-effective variants such as vertically mounted or single-axis tracking module rows or smaller elevations, which can be combined well with fruit cultivation in particular.
The working group therefore calls for »a separate subsidy segment for highly elevated systems." Although such plants are hardly commercially competitive with less material-intensive variants due to the large demand for steel, the working group describes them as »particularly efficient.« Unsurprisingly, the scientists also recommend »further research to develop requirements in terms of cultivation.«

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