The "Energiewende" (energy transition) and the increasing use of technologies to produce energy from sun, wind or biomass lead to a changing cultural and natural landscape. The cultivation of energy crops and prospectively also open space photovoltaics (PV) require large areas and thus increase the demand for agricultural areas that are limited in their availability. The arising land use conflicts result in higher lease costs and societal conflicts. In order to reduce the land use conflicts, Agrophotovoltaics (APV), a specific system technology that combines photosynthetic production and PV power production, offers a promising concept that allows pursuing agricultural cultivation below PV-plants. The resulting double harvesting reduces the competition over rare fertile land between agriculture and energy industry. APV-projects can support the transition towards a decentralized Energiewende and strengthen the local creation of added value and thus rural development. Analogously to rooftop PV, this technology offers participation schemes for farmers, communities and SMEs.
The development of an innovation concept is a key issue for the APV-innovation group that consists of members from all project partners. The innovation concept will be complemented by qualification measures to support the group members at developing a sustainable innovation management. A steady exchange between different innovation groups funded by BMBF for a sustainable land management will be an important part of this project.
The model region Bodensee-Oberschwaben turns into a Living lab where innovation processes and management for a sustainable land management will be applied, analyzed and developed further. To support this target, a pilot scale test plant shall be installed in Heggelbach to enable agricultural and social science studies.
One of the tasks at ITAS is to include non-scientific actors, namely decision makers, potential users and citizens, into the innovation process. The conditions and possible barriers for the market introduction and diffusion of this technology shall be analyzed using this approach. As a part of this, two citizen workshops will be realized, one prior to the realization of the test plant, one afterwards to analyze how the physical experience of the APV-technology might affect its appraisement. The results feed innovation promoting recommendations for policymakers, service providers and technology developer. Further, an innovation concept for a sustainable land use in the model region will be developed according to these results.
Project website: APV-RESOLA
Short film on the APV pilot scale test plant and on backgrounds of the technology: