Agrivoltaic has no commercial application in South America due to higher capital expenditure compared to traditional photovoltaic systems. Currently, Chilean farmers use plastic crop covers to protect fruits from adverse weather impacts such as excessive irradiation, avoiding sunstrokes in crops, and to use water more efficiently, limiting evapotranspiration. Since agrivoltaic could serve as an alternative for crop cover, we analyze and compare the costs for agrivoltaic with the cost of plastic covers, introducing a metric to calculate the price for covering cropland with an agrivoltaic system. Based on a selected case we demonstrate that the price of covering cropland with agrivoltaic is still higher than the price of covering cropland with shading nets and thus additional costs or design modifications for agrivoltaic systems cannot solely be justified based on the provided economic benefit of shading. Still, depending on the local cost structure of crop protection with plastic cover, agrivoltaic can create notable synergies. Also, we conclude that the price for covering cropland with agrivoltaic can further be reduced when capacity density of agrivoltaic is decreased. Still, further research is needed to investigate on the physical aspects of photovoltaic panels replacing plastic covers to protect crops.
Price for covering cropland with an agrivoltaic system: PV panels replacing shading nets in Chilean blueberry cultivation
David Jung, Alois Salmon; Price for covering cropland with an agrivoltaic system: PV panels replacing shading nets in Chilean blueberry cultivation. AIP Conf. Proc. 6 December 2022; 2635 (1): 030001. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0107946
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