Agrivoltaics Spread Through Asia and Europe. Next stop, America.

Above: Oregon State University

Agrivoltaics was originally conceived by Adolf Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow in 1981. It’s the practice of combining agriculture with photovoltaic solar panels.

Agrivoltaics increases land productivity by 60-70%. Also less water is needed since the solar panels block heat from the sun that would evaporate the water.

Studies show that crops growing underneath solar cells only lose 5-20% of their yield depending on the crop. Clover only loses 5% of its yield.

In hot weather, crops growing underneath solar cells actually yield more than they normally would. Scorching heat has a very negative effect on crop yields. “Based on the 2018 potato yield, the land use efficiency rose to 186% per hectare with the agrophotovoltaic system,” says Stephan Schindele of Fraunhofer ISE.

Agrivoltaics has been massively implemented in Japan since 2004 and then, Agrivoltaics has expanded in Asia and Europe. Several crops can benefit from these systems, including fruit production.


Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems

35MW were set up across approximately 54ha of farmland at the “SJ Solar Tsukuba Power Plant,” which started operation in Mimori District, Tsukuba City, in April 2017

Boulder, CO

Tresserre Occitanie, France
world’s first dynamic agrivoltaic 2.1MWp solar farm by Sun’Agri in Tresserre, Occitanie, France, equipped with EDF ENR PWT (Photowatt) Crystal Advanced® solar panels

University of Massachusetts

China is testing a new type of solar concentrator above crops. It lets just enough light through to reach the crops; the rest is used to generate electricity. It’s called Agriculture Solar Concentrator Photovoltaic.