Peer-reviewed paper published: Circularity and landscape experience of agrivoltaics
Multifunctional solar energy landscapes are quickly advancing, leading to several examples in the Netherlands where solar energy is combined with agricultural production. The aim of this type of multifunctionality, often termed ‘agrivoltaics’, is reduce land use pressure by providing synergies between crop and PV panel. The team, consisting of Igor Sirnik, Dirk Oudes and Sven Stremke, studied several novel cases of agrivoltaics in the Netherlands from the perspective of landscape experience and circularity.
Following the publication, Igor and Dirk presented the research during a webinar of the Fraunhofer Institute in June 2023.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global challenge. Innovative agrivoltaic systems that combine agriculture and solar energy production is one set of the solutions to reduce these emissions. While circularity is a pressing issue in agriculture and landscape experience in solar energy production, these issues have received little attention in relationship to agrivoltaics. This study examines aspects of circularity and landscape experience in built agrivoltaic projects reported in scientific literature and recently constructed agrivoltaic projects in the Netherlands. Understanding circularity and landscape experience in agrivoltaics contributes to enabling agriculture transitions and increasing public acceptance. Peer-reviewed literature was used to examine which aspects of circularity and landscape experience were addressed in 16 international agrivoltaics cases. Critical performance indicators were used for circularity and spatial properties for landscape experience. Furthermore, a systematic analysis of ten Dutch agrivoltaic cases was conducted by examining their visibility, accessibility, patch configuration and agricultural land-use beneath the agrivoltaic system. The results show that contribution to regional economy and vitality of the rural area is the most frequently mentioned circularity indicator, which is found in 82% of the international cases and 60% of the Dutch cases. Low visibility and low accessibility of agrivoltaic systems were found in the majority of Dutch agrivoltaic cases. Limited attention to landscape experience was found in the studied literature. This study provides valuable recommendations for research, farmers and policy makers for advancing transitions towards circular agrivoltaic power plants that pay more attention to landscape experience.
Reference: Sirnik, I., Sluijsmans, J., Oudes, D., & Stremke, S. (2023). Circularity and landscape experience of agrivoltaics: A systematic review of literature and built systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 178, 113250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2023.113250
You can access the paper here (open access).