US expert in environmental and energy policy Alexis Pascaris spoke with pv magazine about opportunities and barriers associated with agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics are a very practical and advantageous alternative to large-scale solar, specifically in places where there are land-use constraints or needs for rural economic development, she explains. Differences in costs related to ground-mounted solar can typically be attributed to the raised racking systems or additional fencing, but these upfront investments in specialized hardware are eventually recovered as agrivoltaic systems produce dual-revenue streams.

Agrivoltaics are raising big expectations inside and outside the solar sector. The combination of solar power generation and grazing livestock or growing vegetable crops began to be considered a viable option to develop ground-mounted PV facilities on agricultural land over the past two years and is seen by many as a possible alternative to conventional solar parks. However, the business models and technologies that are currently being developed across several countries have not yet ensured the required viability for the deployment of huge volumes of solar capacity, which are strongly needed for the world’s decarbonization and energy transition.

According to Alexis Pascaris, a researcher in environmental […]