Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2023) | Viewed by 29117

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Optics and Optical Engineering, Physics School, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Interests: photovoltaic agriculture; plant lighting; optical sensor; plant factory; polymer multilayer optical film
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Achieving carbon neutrality requires the use of solar energy to replace traditional energy sources. The development of photovoltaics is facing the increasingly prominent contradiction of insufficient land supply. It is thus imperative to develop photovoltaic agricultural technology worldwide. However, solving the contradiction between photovoltaic power generation and crops competing for sunlight is a great challenge. 

Compared with traditional outdoor agricultural planting and greenhouse agricultural cultivation, photovoltaic agricultural systems must not only take care of PV power generation and good, synchronous plant growth, but also solve the problems of mechanized production, rainwater collection and recycling, irrigation, etc.

Comprehensive utilization of sunlight frequency division, dual-axis tracking systems, double-sided high-efficiency solar cells, semi-transparent photovoltaic cell technology, and selection of crop varieties suitable for photovoltaic agricultural systems are of great importance, while changes in the light environment have an impact on the microclimate changes brought about by temperature and soil moisture, as well as on the growth of crops.

We solicit research and review papers focusing on but not limited to the following aspects: light management, water management, temperature management related to photovoltaic agricultural systems, and various crop output results which are well cultivated under various agrivoltaic environments.

Prof. Dr. Wen Liu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • agriculture and photovoltaic complementation
  • light management
  • water management
  • planting in low-light environments
  • improvement of land economic benefits

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 190 KiB  
Editorial
Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress
by Wen Liu, Altyeb Ali Abaker Omer and Ming Li
Agronomy 2023, 13(7), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13071934 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)

Research

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20 pages, 5141 KiB  
Article
Integrating Agrivoltaic Systems into Local Industries: A Case Study and Economic Analysis of Rural Japan
by Hideki Nakata and Seiichi Ogata
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020513 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
The growing number of photovoltaic installations has created competition in land use between the need for electricity and food. Agrivoltaic systems (AVSs) can help solve this problem by increasing land use efficiency through the co-production of electricity and food. However, in Japan, where [...] Read more.
The growing number of photovoltaic installations has created competition in land use between the need for electricity and food. Agrivoltaic systems (AVSs) can help solve this problem by increasing land use efficiency through the co-production of electricity and food. However, in Japan, where more than 2000 AVSs have been installed, some undesirable AVS cases have led to new problems. In this study, we developed an AVS installation model that is compatible with a regional society and limits the scale of AVS installation to a low-risk level. AVS projects have also entered local industrial clusters and stimulated the local economy. In this study, we used public information and geographic information systems to ensure quantifiability and applicability. The results revealed that the rural area targeted in this study had an AVS generation potential of 215% (equal to 17.8 GWh) of the region’s annual electricity consumption and an economic ripple effect of 108.9% (EUR 47.8 million) of the region’s gross regional product. Furthermore, the levelized cost of electricity was estimated to be 14.94–25.54 Euro cents/kWh under secure settings. This study provides solutions to food, economic, and energy problems in rural areas by promoting the installation of AVSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)
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14 pages, 2017 KiB  
Article
Agrivoltaics: The Environmental Impacts of Combining Food Crop Cultivation and Solar Energy Generation
by Moritz Wagner, Jan Lask, Andreas Kiesel, Iris Lewandowski, Axel Weselek, Petra Högy, Max Trommsdorff, Marc-André Schnaiker and Andrea Bauerle
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020299 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5499
Abstract
The demand for food and renewable energy is increasing significantly, whereas the availability of land for agricultural use is declining. Agrivoltaic systems (AVS), which combine agricultural production with solar energy generation on the same area, are a promising opportunity with the potential to [...] Read more.
The demand for food and renewable energy is increasing significantly, whereas the availability of land for agricultural use is declining. Agrivoltaic systems (AVS), which combine agricultural production with solar energy generation on the same area, are a promising opportunity with the potential to satisfy this demand while avoiding land-use conflicts. In the current study, a Consequential Life-Cycle Assessment (CLCA) was conducted to holistically assess the environmental consequences arising from a shift from single-use agriculture to AVS in Germany. The results of the study show that the environmental consequences of the installation of overhead AVS on agricultural land are positive and reduce the impacts in 15 of the 16 analysed impact categories especially for climate change, eutrophication and fossil resource use, as well as in the single score assessment, mainly due to the substitution of the marginal energy mix. It was demonstrated that, under certain conditions, AVS can contribute to the extension of renewable energy production resources without reducing food production resources. These include maintaining the agricultural yields underneath the photovoltaic (PV) modules, seeking synergies between solar energy generation and crop production and minimising the loss of good agricultural land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)
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15 pages, 4033 KiB  
Article
Agrivoltaic Systems Enhance Farmers’ Profits through Broccoli Visual Quality and Electricity Production without Dramatic Changes in Yield, Antioxidant Capacity, and Glucosinolates
by Seung-Hun Chae, Hye Joung Kim, Hyeon-Woo Moon, Yoon Hyung Kim and Kang-Mo Ku
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061415 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 12699
Abstract
The increase in world population by an average rate of 2% per year causes critical issues on energy and foods. By 2050, food demand will increase to 35~56% more than in 2010 due to the growing population. Agrivoltaic systems allow us to reach [...] Read more.
The increase in world population by an average rate of 2% per year causes critical issues on energy and foods. By 2050, food demand will increase to 35~56% more than in 2010 due to the growing population. Agrivoltaic systems allow us to reach sustainable food and electricity-production goals with high land-use efficiency. In this study, the yield, antioxidant capacity, and secondary metabolite of broccoli and electricity production were analyzed under an agrivoltaic system over 3 cultivation periods. Based on energy production, an economic analysis of agrivoltaic was carried out. In addition, our study also reported that agrivoltaic with additional shading treatment produced greener broccoli with a higher level of consumer preference than open-field grown ones. The yield, antioxidant capacity, some glucosinolates and hydrolysis products of broccoli grown under an agrivoltaic system were not significantly different from those of broccoli grown in the open-field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)
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16 pages, 3806 KiB  
Article
Water Evaporation Reduction Using Sunlight Splitting Technology
by Altyeb Ali Abaker Omer, Ming Li, Wen Liu, Xinliang Liu, Jianan Zheng, Fangxin Zhang, Xinyu Zhang, Samia Osman Hamid Mohammed, Yang Liu, Jan Ingenhoff and Rohitashw Kumar
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051067 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
The imbalance between precipitation and water evaporation has caused crop yield reduction, drought, and desertification. Furthermore, most parts of the world are short of water, including China. We proposed a low-cost polymer multilayer film to reduce water evaporation by only passing through several [...] Read more.
The imbalance between precipitation and water evaporation has caused crop yield reduction, drought, and desertification. Furthermore, most parts of the world are short of water, including China. We proposed a low-cost polymer multilayer film to reduce water evaporation by only passing through several sunlight wavelengths necessary for photosynthesis. A series of experiments were conducted to characterize the influence of partial sunlight on the reduction of water evaporation. Evaporation containers and evaporation pans were placed in open-air (CK), under a glass shed (GS), and under a glass-shed covered with multilayer films (GMF). Our results showed a significant reduction in water evaporation under GMF. Cumulative soil surface evaporation of CK, GS and GMF over 45 days was 80.53 mm, 68.12 mm, and 56.79 mm, respectively. Under GMF, cumulative water evaporation from soil and pan surfaces decreased by 29% and 26%. The slope (β10) of simple linear regression showed a significant relationship between evaporation time and cumulative water evaporation (p = 0.000 < α = 0.05 shown in the ANOVA table). The correlation coefficient was more than 0.91 in all treatments, suggesting a strong positive linear relationship. This study may contribute to future drought resistance and agrivoltaic sustainability development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)
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Review

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16 pages, 1120 KiB  
Review
Physiological Mechanism of Abscisic Acid-Induced Heat-Tolerance Responses to Cultivation Techniques in Wheat and Maize—Review
by Zhiqiang Tao, Peng Yan, Xuepeng Zhang, Demei Wang, Yanjie Wang, Xinglin Ma, Yushuang Yang, Xiwei Liu, Xuhong Chang, Peng Sui and Yuanquan Chen
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071579 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a physiological role in regulating the heat tolerance of plants and maintaining crop productivity under high-temperature stress. Appropriate cultivation techniques can regulate endogenous ABA and help farmers improve food production under high-temperature stress. Here, the physiological basis for ABA-induced [...] Read more.
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a physiological role in regulating the heat tolerance of plants and maintaining crop productivity under high-temperature stress. Appropriate cultivation techniques can regulate endogenous ABA and help farmers improve food production under high-temperature stress. Here, the physiological basis for ABA-induced heat tolerance in crops is reviewed. High-temperature stress stimulates ABA, which reduces stomatal opening and promotes root growth. The root system absorbs water to maintain the water status, thus allowing the plant to maintain physiological activities under high-temperature stress. ABA plays a synergistic role with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthesis to improve the thermal stability of the cell membrane, maintain a dynamic balance between material and energy, and reduce the negative effects of high-temperature stress on kernel number and kernel weight. Cultivation and tillage techniques adapted to high-temperature stress, such as adjustment of sowing time, application of plant growth regulators and fertilizers, and the use of irrigation, subsoiling and heat acclimation, and the mechanisms by which they improve crop heat tolerance, are also reviewed. The results of the studies reviewed here will help researchers develop techniques for cultivating food crops under heat stress and apply them to food-production fields to improve crop productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrivoltaic: Challenge and Progress)
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