Fraunhofer ISE lands funding for agrophotovoltaics research at German apple orchard

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
An image of a previous Fraunhofer ISE pilot plant that monitored the yield of crops grown under PV modules. Image: Fraunhofer ISE.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Fraunhofer ISE) has received €740,000 (US$866,429) in financing to explore land use conflicts between solar farms and agricultural land.

Funded by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of the Environment, the four-year initiative will research the growth of apple trees under a PV system in the German district of Ahrweiler.

An important aspect of the project is how the modules protect the fruit trees from extreme weather as a result of climate change.

Rhineland-Palatinate environment minister, Ulrike Höfken, said alongside the green energy benefits, the modules act as protective roofs against hail and excessive sunlight. She said that similar projects could also be conceivable in other agricultural areas, including chicken farms.

Höfken added that the project is intended to counter land use conflicts between solar systems and agricultural land with new knowledge, techniques and approaches to stakeholder and citizen participation.

Other partners in the project include the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, BayWa and Elektrizitätswerke Schönau.

Fraunhofer ISE has already made steps to prove the viability of dual land use after completing a successful trial in 2017. The year-long study at a pilot project near Lake Constance in Germany used bifacial solar modules to provide as much sunlight as possible to crops such as wheat, potatoes and celeriac by limiting the shading impact on crop growth.

Fraunhofer ISE director Prof. Hans-Martin Henning said at the time that agrophotovoltaics (APV) has the potential to open up “urgently needed” space for the PV expansion in Germany. He added: “At the same time, APV can mitigate the conflicting interests between agriculture and open space PV systems for viable land.”

Read Next

April 16, 2021
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE) has claimed a new record conversion efficiency for a both-sides contacted silicon solar cell of 26%.
April 15, 2021
Hamburg-based solar operator Blue Elephant Energy has joined forces with renewables developer Umweltgerechte Kraftanlagen (UKA) to develop a 500MWp solar portfolio in Germany.
April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
March 30, 2021
South Korea-based solar module manufacturer Q CELLS has filed patent infringement complaints in both Germany and France against Astronergy.
March 30, 2021
BayWa r.e. and its Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven have expanded an agrophotovoltaic installation in the Netherlands to help protect fruit from hail, heavy rain and extreme heat.
March 29, 2021
Despite additional solar and wind contributing to a record reduction in global coal generation last year, new renewable energy projects are still not being built quickly enough to keep pace with rising electricity demand.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021