Agri Photovoltaic Technology in the Indian Market

15 March 2023
Signing of the MoU on Agri-PV Technology with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
Signing of the MoU on Agri-PV Technology with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

India raised its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target of non-fossil energy to 500 Giga Watts (GW). Presently, the major contributors of solar PV installations across India are ground-mounted or rooftop installations. These conventional methods of solar adoption rely heavily on land utilisation and can only address the target in part.

Additionally, land use for energy generation is increasingly facing competition from other social or economic usages that directly affect natural habitats and ecosystems. There are also growing concerns about the scarcity of utilisable land being allocated for solar projects. This makes it necessary to explore new innovative technology solutions for solar PV projects in India.

The idea that with suitable crops and conditions, farming outputs can be maintained at high levels on land that also hosts solar energy generation first arose in Europe. Together with Japan and China, Agri Photovoltaic (AgriPV) methods have been extensively tested.

Globally, it is estimated that the installed capacity of AgriPV has grown from about 5 megawatts (MW) in 2012 to approximately 13 GW today, led mostly by Germany, France, China, Japan and Italy.

A key study, titled ”AgriPV in India”, executed by National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) in association with the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), asserted the immense value AgriPV can offer to India’s agriculture and renewable energy needs. The study hypothetically draws conclusion from what would happen if 5.5 acres of land, which can support 1 MW of AgriPV, were used for the technology. This would result in a total potential of 629.69 GW being realised from net area sown (agricultural) lands alone. For fallow areas and other uncultivated lands, the potential for AgriPV is 49.50 GW and 56.6 GW, respectively.

Under the Innovative New Solar Areas (IN-Solar) Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting IARI in preparing the following:

  • a crop suitability matrix for AgriPV in India Climatic zone
  • research and development (R&D) partnerships between Indian and German technical institutes
  • potential assessments
  • capacity building of Agri officers in the domain of Agri PV in India

Together we look forward to paving the way for Agri Photovoltaic Technology in the Indian Market.

Contact person
Abhinav Jain — Energy Advisor
Innovative New Solar Areas

Key buzzwords
Agri-PV, Renewable Energy, Innovative