Germany, a leader in renewable energy adoption, is set to significantly expand its agricultural photovoltaic (agri-PV) capacity, with the potential to install up to 1 GW by 2025, according to a paper released by the German Energy Agency (DENA) on Thursday.
Despite currently having a modest installed capacity of 14 MW, agri-PV is gaining traction in the country, driven by announced projects and government initiatives. DENA outlines four key areas of action to facilitate the market ramp-up of agri-PV technology.
Firstly, the paper underscores the importance of establishing clear definitions and distinctions for agri-PV to ensure transparency in the sector. Secondly, a thorough reevaluation of agri-PV applications in spatial and regional planning is deemed essential to unlock additional land potential. Thirdly, optimizing existing financing models is identified as a crucial step, while the fourth area of action focuses on elevating the visibility of the technology through pilot projects, research reinforcement, and targeted communication measures tailored to the agricultural sector.
DENA highlights the dual-use benefit of land in agri-PV, emphasizing that agricultural businesses can not only sustain their yields but also reduce resource consumption for irrigation in agricultural production.
In support of agri-PV projects, the German government is considering Solar Package I, which introduces a distinct segment in solar tenders to offset increased costs for agrivoltaic projects. The auctions for ground-mounted solar plants, incorporating agri-PV technology, will be conducted in two stages. The initial stage will exclusively focus on special solar installations, including agri-PV, floating solar, and solar systems on carports.
In 2024, the Federal Network Agency plans to allocate 500 MW of capacity, with a price cap set at EUR 0.095 (USD 0.102) per kWh – significantly higher than the cap for other ground-mounted solar projects. This reflects the higher costs associated with the implementation of agri-PV. Awards in this segment are anticipated to gradually increase to 3,000 MW by 2029.
The collaborative efforts between the government and industry stakeholders are expected to propel Germany toward its agri-PV capacity target, aligning with the nation's commitment to sustainable energy practices.