SWOT Analysis of Agrivoltaics for Utility-Scale
1.1 Background and Context
1.1.1 Brief Background of APV Systems
The APV system is an emerging process which is beneficial for the proper utilisation of the energy in different agricultural practices and the optimisation of the production system for different types of foods and crops. It is identified that the rapid technological development in several aspects has provided opportunities for the implementation of advanced practices and features. The technique of phototype was first described as Agrivoltaic in 2011. It has since been called various names across the globe. For example, in Italy, it is cited as Agrovoltaics. In Germany, it is Agrophotovoltaics. In Asia, it is sun oriented- Solar sharing (Larson, 2020). The agri photovoltaic cell is incorporated as a mixed system for the inclusion of solar panels in different operations of a particular farmland (Santra et al., 2018). The system is installed with the help of rows and livestock grazing in some of the farmlands.
1.1.2 Motivation for the Topic
The rapid development of the technological system has provided opportunities for the agriculture sector to implement advanced practices in different operations. The implementation of APV system is not only helpful for the production of different crops but also for the enhancement of the growth of the sector and economic condition of the country. The study is motivating for the administrative system and the management of different agricultural farms to identify the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the implementation of APV cells, both in India and Germany.
1.2 History of APV Plants
1.2.1 History of APV Plants in India
The photovoltaic cell in India is included in different farmlands for the development of efficiency in the farming process and growth of the agriculture sector in India. The importance of the process has been understood by different agriculture development agencies. It is identified that the agrivoltaic system with the capacity of 105 kW and 25kW is designed and installed in Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur and the Regional Research Station at Bhuj, respectively (Santra et al., 2018).
1.2.2 History of APV Plants in Germany
The smooth development in the growth of different practices and infrastructure in the agricultural farm has provided opportunities for the improvement in the efficiency of the activities in different regions of the world. The detailed and critical understanding of the synergies between the plant physiology and microbial ecology has helped the administration of different farmland to incorporate advanced practices in the photovoltaic cells. In 1981, Dr. Armin Zastrow and Prof. Adolf Goetzberger (founder of Fraunhofer ISE) explained how this dual use concept works in an article in the magazine Sonnenenergie (Kartoffeln unter dem Kollektor) (Goetzberger and Zastrow,, 3/81 (1981)).
Figure 1: First illustration of an APV framework (©A. Goetzberger and A. Zastrow, 3/81 (1981))
Founded in 1981, the concept of dual use was conceptualised to maximise the use of land by encouraging the cultivation of crops and solar energy. The technique of phototype was first described as Agrivoltaic in 2011. It has since been called various names across the globe. For example, in Italy, it is cited as Agrovoltaics. In Germany, it is Agrophotovoltaics. In Asia, it is sun oriented- Solar sharing (Larson, 2020).
1.3 Problem and Statements
It has been identified that the solar radiation below the panel is expected to reduce by 33% which affects the productivity level for the development of crops (Weselek et al., 2019). The microclimatic heterogeneities and their negative influence on the production of crops is challenging for the adoption of the agri photovoltaic cell in different farmlands. It is further noticed that the implementation of the APV system requires advanced practices and infrastructure such as additional shading, economic farming value, off-grid electrification and other advanced technological infrastructure (Weselek et al., 2019).
The major challenges for the adoption of agri photovoltaic cell are
- Lack of practical experience
- Changes in climate condition
- Lack of solar radiation below the solar panel
- Absence of shading and adequate water
- Lack of technological and electrical facilities in farmland
1.4 General Objective for the Research
1.4.1 Objectives of the Study
- To identify the practical implementation process for APV system in the farmlands of Gujarat and Germany
- To analyse the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for APV system in both India and Germany
- To analyse the efficiency of APV system between India and Germany in a comparative manner
1.4.2 Limitations for Research Argument
The research has mainly focused on the analysis of the efficiency of the Agriphotovoltaics cells in Gujarat rather than the complete analysis of the cases of different states of India in detail. It has somehow affected the quality of the SWOT and comparative analysis process of the APV system between India and Germany.
1.5 Research Questions
1) What are the major implementation processes of the APV System in different farmlands of India and Germany?
2) What are the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of agri photovoltaic cells in India and Germany?
3) What are the main features and benefits of the APV system incorporated in different farmlands of India and Germany?
The research study has focused on the analysis of the efficiency of the APV system installed in the farmlands of Gujarat, India specifically. Therefore, it has limited the quality of the response of the research questions due to specific focus. The research is not able to analyse the efficiency of the APV system in other states of India.
The research has been done with the help of the identification of the relevant literature sources and case study of APV systems in both India and Germany. The proper analysis of different case studies has helped in the identification of practical implementation processes and requirement of infrastructure for the installation of APV systems. The two major methods which have been included in the research study are SWOT analysis and comparative analysis. The SWOT analysis has helped in the identification of major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the agri photovoltaic system for future adoption. The comparative analysis has helped in the development of proper knowledge related to the irradiation standards, practical outcomes and crop harvesting process for the APV plant in Heggelbach, Germany and Gujarat, India.
1.7 Structure of the Research Study
Figure 2: Structure of the Research
2. Literature Study
The literature topic is based on different kinds of relevant literature sources which are based on the implementation of APV plants in different farmlands of India and Germany. It has focused on the collection of information from different magazines, journals, technological articles, and case studies related to the implementation process and efficiency of the APV plants in Heggelbach and Gujarat.
2.1 Background of APV Systems in India and Germany
As mentioned by Weselek et al. (2021), The photovoltaic system in different farmlands of India has been implemented as an emerging technique for the optimisation of the efficiency of different farmlands across different states. India is an agriculture dominated country as the majority of the citizens are associated with the agriculture activities. The majority of the revenue is generated from this department which has forced the administration of different farmland and the government officials to install agri photovoltaic cells in different states and regions.
As discussed by Gupta (2021), the agrivoltaic system has been identified as the combination of the farming process and the development of the solar generation process which is effective for the maintenance of productivity in agricultural operation systems. As identified by Indo-German Energy Forum (2020) it has been identified that around 60% of the land area of India is included under the farmland section. The huge presence of farmland in India has increased the requirement for energy by a significant margin. The power demand has increased by 40% in India in the last five years. The agriculture sector provides one of the major income sources in India. It has been noticed that the energy demand is expected to grow in the future with the significant rise of population in the country.
As discussed by Boopathiet al. (2021), the photovoltaic based electricity system has been implemented in different parts of India for the fulfilment of energy in agricultural operation and farmland activities. The agri voltaic projects have developed additional demands for the projects in India. It has been identified that the process includes the development of photovoltaic shades in agrivoltaic modules in the operation of farmlands in India. As stated by Agyekum et al. (2021), the process has also demanded low water usage and the tolerance for shade for different types of crops during the selection of farmland operations. It has been further identified that the projects related to the inclusion of agrivoltaic systems are included in different parts of India. As mentioned by Indo-German Energy Forum (2020), the country has recently implemented around 20 existing projects for the implementation of photovoltaic systems. The management of the farmlands, local organisations and government agencies have focused on the development of new projects.
Figure 3: Production of Plants under agrivoltaic system in 2017
(Source: Weselek et al., 2021)
The agri voltaics sector of India has focused on the development of different types of policy for the exact inclusion of the procedures for the growth of different types of agricultural products and crops. As mentioned by Agarwal, Irtaza and Ahmad (2021), the states of India and farmlands of different regions of India has focused on the development of deployment procedures, tender system and specification of pilot projects, classification of the application for different types of lands, maintenance of financial incentives and quality standards and the proper management of the technical practise in the process.
Due to the increasing demand for land in Germany, the lease rates that are going to belong to farmland are also increasing because of the continuous infrastructure development. This APV shows that the use of solar energy can reduce land competition and provide additional resources that are going to belong to agriculture as the land is not entirely dedicated to solar modules. Agrivoltaics literally is a system that essentially combines the use of land for agriculture and electricity generation in an actually major way. This concept mainly specifically focuses on using PV modules on land that may for all intents and purposes provide shelter for animals in scorching heat. Climate change is threatening the profitability of agriculture and causing water shortages. Farms in Germany are also under pressure due to the country’s legal framework conditions in a definitely big way. There is also a lack of scope for action when it generally comes to water conservation and crop production. In addition, the demand for land that is going to belong to the commercial, as well as residential areas, happens to be also increasing.
Figure 4: Heggelbach APV Plant (©Hofgemeinschaft Heggelbach)
In 2016, the developers of a pilot solar plant in Heggelbach (currently utilised for additional research) near Lake Constance successfully combined the production of electricity and harvesting on arable land. A total of 720 bifacial photovoltaic modules were installed for the project. The modules had a maximum capacity of 194 kilowatts with the height of five metres on 33% of a hectare of arable land. The system’s efficiency improved significantly over the years 2017 and 2018 (ISE, Fraunhofer, 2020)
2.2 Theories and Models for APV Systems
It has been identified that there are different theoretical perspectives which are associated with the implementation of advanced technologies and practices in farmland in different regions of the world. The sustainable agriculture model is the most appropriate in this aspect as it provides information about the existing practices and improvement of the efficiency and sustainability of different activities associated with the farmlands. As mentioned by Tian et al. (2018), the major objective of the sustainable agriculture and farming system is the fulfilment of the requirements of the society and the development of quality regarding the consumption of resources for the future generation.
Figure 5: Principle of Sustainable Agriculture Model
(Source: Doval, 2018)
The sustainable agriculture model is dependent on three major factors which are identified as environmental health, economic profitability and social and economic equity. As discussed by Amaruchkul (2021), the model has been identified as the main source of the proper allocation of the resources for the benefit of the people in the future. The agri photovoltaic cell is dependent on solar energy which is a renewable source of energy. It has been identified that the implementation of solar energy has helped in the maintenance of the items which are limited. It has contributed for the sustainability of the resources for the future generation and maintained the quality of the environmental resources. Moreover, the implementation of the agri photovoltaic cell has helped in the development of the efficiency of the operations required in different farmlands. The process has helped in the enhancement of the production rate of different types of crops. It has been evident from the description of Weselek et al. (2021) that the production of sufficient crops can be increased by a margin of 20% with the help of partial shade of the photovoltaic module in an agrivoltaic system.
The implementation of agri photovoltaic cells has helped in the improvement of efficiency of different activities of the farmland. The integration of solar energy in different agricultural and farmland operations is beneficial for the development of proper energy and sustainability for the energy. It is beneficial for the development of proper quality in the resource allocation system. It has helped in both environmental quality and economic profitability. The advancement in the production of different types of crops and the optimisation of the farmland activities has provided opportunities for the significant growth of the profit margin and economic condition for that particular region.
According to Poonia et al. (2022), it is essential for the elimination of unnecessary usage of bioenergy which can help the future generation. The implementation of the system can help in the elimination of extra costs during the production of different food items in that particular place. The process is also effective for the production of different types of crops, vegetables, food items and others at a minimal cost. It has also provided opportunities for the export of food items in other regions of the country and external markets. As identified by Santra et al. (2020), the process has provided facilities for the enhancement of the profit margin in the farmlands of Gujarat. Finally, the development of food items has provided opportunities to deliver those items in different regions of Gujarat. The process is essential for the sustainable consumption process of food items in society and the development of equity for the people in the society.
2.3 Conceptual Framework
Figure 6: Conceptual Framework of the Research Study
2.4 Key Debatable Topics about APV
The agri photovoltaic cell is dependent on the implementation of solar energy during different operations of the farmlands in both India and Germany. However, the solar radiation level reduces significantly under the solar panels which hampers the efficiency of the production of crops and maintenance of quality for the activities at the global level. The process is challenging which is a major disadvantage for the implementation of proper efficiency in different practices of the farmland at the global level. It has been further identified that the climate condition is challenging for different regions across the world. The difference in climate conditions in different regions of the world negatively influences the efficiency of different activities within the farmland. The process is challenging for the management of different farmland across the world to deliver optimum accuracy and productivity in the production of food. The lack of advanced practices and infrastructure such as additional shading, economic farming value, off-grid electrification and other advanced technological infrastructure has also created doubts during the installation of the APV system.
2.5 Literature Gap
The current research study has mainly focused on the analysis of the efficiency of the APV systems in the farmlands of Gujarat and Heggelbach. The efficiency of the rest of the regions in India and Germany is not present in the research study. It has somehow limited the information present in the entire study. Moreover, the research has only focused on SWOT analysis and comparative analysis processes on the basis of different case studies and qualitative information. There was a lack of information regarding the statistics of different agricultural aspects which could have developed more in-depth knowledge about the production rate of different crops and efficiency of the activities in different farmlands.
3. Theoretical Background
This section highlights the critical analysis of the in-depth process for the implementation of agri photovoltaic systems in the farmlands of India and Germany. It is focused on two major case studies such as implementation of agri photovoltaic systems in the APV plant of Gujarat and Germany. The selection of two case studies have provided opportunities for the comparative analysis of the background information, result of the plant regarding the production of crops and harvesting and selection of suitable crops. It has also focused on the development of information related to the major benefits and disadvantages for the practical application of APV in the plants of Gujarat and Heggelbach.
3.1 Heggelbach APV Plant
The biodynamic farm in Heggelbach was selected by Fraunhofer ISE as the initial site of the research plant. The farm has been engaged in organic-dynamic management for over three decades. The concept of the Demeter farm is that it operates as a whole, and it is focused on energy efficiency. Aside from solar panels, it also uses wood gas for its own production. It uses wood chips to heat its buildings and provides electrical energy to the grid. The farm received a German solar prize in 2009 for its innovative energy concept (ISE, Fraunhofer, 2020).
3.1.1 Background Information
The district of Lake Constance is one of three in Germany that has a low percentage of renewable energy. This means that it needs to increase its target share to 26 percent in 2022 to become more energy efficient. Although solar PV has the biggest share of the district’s total energy consumption, it cannot be done alone [Ketzer, 2020]. The lack of farmland and conversion areas are two of the main factors that prevent the district from achieving its goals. Currently, wind power plants are only able to provide a limited portion of the region’s electricity demand. By 2022, they could potentially provide more than six percent of the region’s electricity needs. The potential contribution of biomass to the district’s energy supply is actually limited by the excessive cost of production and the lack of acceptance by the generally local population,(ISE, Fraunhofer, 2020).
Winter wheat, potato, and celery were grown under the Heggelbach agrivoltaics system. The system’s bifacial glass-glass module, row distance allows the plants to receive a sun-distribution even though the temperature is still low.
Figure 7: Sketch of Heggelbach APV plant (©Hilber Solar)
The five-metre height of the supports system and the distance between modules and ground allows large agricultural machines to operate freely with minimal hindrances. This system, which has a capacity of up to two hectares, is ideal for growing crops with low production costs (ISE, Fraunhofer, 2020).
3.1.2 Result of Plant in 2017 and Summer of 2018
The project’s initial success has shown that the use of solar modules can increase the land usage rate by up to 160 percent, which is quite significant. The system’s profitability has also remained profitable.
Figure 8: The Heggelbach was able to cover its electricity needs with the help of the agrivoltaic system in 2017 ©BayWa r.e
The Agrivoltaic system generated over 1266 kWp of electricity per installed kWp in the first twelve months from September 2016 to September 2017. This result is slightly above the average across Germany (ISE, Fraunhofer, 2020). The farm solar farm system’s daily electricity production curve matches the load requirements of the farm well. Around 40 percent of the electricity generated was used to charge the electric vehicle and the other products produced by the system. The Demeter farmers are working towards increasing the proportion of self-generated electricity to 70 percent. This is achieved through optimising their consumption and using electricity storage and the plant’s excessive power is bought by their own project partner Elektrizitätswerke Schönau.
The effects of the heatwave in 2018 were significant, with solar modules contributing to increased crop yields and solar radiation reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the dual land-use efficiency was also improved by 86 percent. Researchers believe that solar modules can help improve the efficiency of crop production in arid regions. Their findings highlight the potential of solar for agriculture in diverse climate conditions. In 2018, solar radiation measured at 1319.7 kilowatts per square metre. This corresponds to a specific yield of 1285.3 kWh per square metre. The study conducted in Heggelbach by Fraunhofer ISE revealed that solar modules can help stabilise the production of crops during dry periods [Schindele et al., 2020].
3.1.3 Crop Harvesting and Selection of Suitable Crops
This technology allows us to generate electricity and produce crops simultaneously. It also helps plants protect themselves from harsh weather conditions. The selection of crops for the use of solar panels is an integral part of the project’s success. It involves assessing the various parameters of the crop to determine which ones are suitable for the project’s operation. Even though the modules are more energy-efficient, crop cultivation under PV systems differs from traditional farming methods. Therefore, it is crucial to classify suitable crops under such a partly shading. Based on the current knowledge, most crops are suitable for planting under an agricultural system if they can tolerate varying shades of shade. However, some crops such as lettuce, asparagus, grass mixture, and certain types of fruits and vegetables can be expected to generate varying effects depending on the light conditions.
3.2 Gujarat’s APV Plant
3.2.1 Background Information
The Agri based solar power plant in the Kutch district of Gujarat was installed in the year 2016. The plant was identified as a commercial project for the enhancement of the revenue of the agriculture sector of India. The capacity of the agrivoltaic solar power project at the time of installation has been identified as 1054 kWp (Indo-German Energy Forum, 2020). The government-owned project has focused on the inclusion of proper features for the production of crops and enhancement of the utility process for the betterment of commercial practices. It has been noticed that the power plant has included polycrystalline solar modules where the capacity of each panel is 10.7 MWp (HarshaAbakus Solar, 2022).
The power plant has been developed in the village named Pandhro which is located near the Kutch district. It has been identified that the entire area has been dominated by mining activities. The main feature of the entire area has been identified as an arid climate process and the temperature lies between 15 to 27 degrees celsius (HarshaAbakus Solar, 2022). The rainfall in this region has been noticed only 355 to 375 mm per year (Indo-German Energy Forum, 2020). The average number of sunny days is very high in this particular region. It has provided opportunities for the effective application of the solar power APV system and the development of commercial aspects for the particular region and the entire Agri photovoltaic sector of India (APV Project Gujarat, 2022).
The operations of the APV plant in Kutch have been handled by HarshaAbakus and maintained by different scientific organisations and local government authorities. The scientific partner for the project has been selected as Gantar NGO which has focused on the development of optimal energy systems for the enhancement in the production systems and commercial activities. The agri voltaic solar power plant has implemented mono facial and polycrystalline technology (Rangwala, 2019).
Polycrystalline technology has provided opportunities for the management of the solar power plants in the Kutch district of Gujarat. It has been identified that the power plants have implemented a seasonal tilt system. The seasonal tilt system has provided opportunities for the project management to deploy the APV system at a south-facing angle of around 25 degrees (APV Project Gujarat, 2022). It has been identified that four solar modules have been installed at an angle of around 25 degrees and covers almost 30,270 square metres. The solar modules have been placed at a height of around 2.50 metre high racks. The entire area has included around 2,184 polycrystalline modules whereas the number of thin-film modules is 3,454 (HarshaAbakus Solar, 2022).
The solar APV modules have provided facilities for the conversion of the direct PV current into alternating current. The constant monitoring process by GSECL has helped in the constant improvement of the performance system of the agrivoltaic power plant. It has been noticed that the entire plant generates around 1,600 kWh/kWp per year. The generation of electricity is effective for the fulfilment of the requirements of the annual electricity process of around 2500 houses every year (Rangwala, 2019). The generation of electricity is also effective for the development of a wide range of crops for the fulfilment of national and global demands. It has been effective for the improvement of the commercial nature of the project.
3.2.3 Crop Harvesting and Selection of Suitable Crops
The constant supervision and the growth of technology have helped in the growth of different kinds of crops such as brinjal, cluster bean, green gram, split black gram, bottle gourds, peas and others. The process is effective for meeting the requirements of the local people. However, the project has faced different types of challenges such as cleaning through the network grid system, structural height, inadequate facilities for easy cleaning and theft of the solar panels (Indo-German Energy Forum, 2020).
4. Comparative Analysis of Case Studies
4.1 Solar Irradiation Level
4.1.1 Gujarat and India’s Direct Irradiation Level
It has been identified that the southern parts of Gujarat have received a significant portion of solar energy all over the year. The process is beneficial for the state to incorporate different types of APV plants and generate a significant amount of solar energy which is essential for the growth of the production process for different types of crops. The total solar irradiation process which can be implemented with the help of solar panels and agri photovoltaic systems ranges between 350 to 550 Mj/sqm per month (Gupta, 2014).
Figure 9: Solar Irradiation Level in Gujarat
It has further identified from the mapping of different hotspots of solar energy in India that Gujarat is the most suitable for solar radiation which makes the state most suitable for the incorporation of agri photovoltaic cells in different farmlands and agricultural plants. The government of India has focused on the development of research on the basis of solar radiation levels in different parts of India. It has provided opportunities for the growth of the solar system in different regions. The identification of the states and land areas which receive a significant amount of solar energy is a part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The process is crucial for India as it has focused on the setup of around 20000 MW of grid connected solar power plants by 2022 (Fernandes, 2016) . It is effective for the enhancement of the solar energy system in the farmlands of India and improves the overall profit margin in the agriculture sector of the country.
Figure 10: Solar Irradiation level
The average solar resource of Gujarat is 5.5 to 6.0 kilowatt-hours (kWh)/square meters/day over the entire state. Hence, the solar power plants can optimally work in the state due to the uniformity of the irradiation level without compromising the load centres and transmission lines proximity.
4.1.2 Germany’s Direct Irradiation Level
Figure 11: Solar irradiance level of Germany
The irradiance level of Germany is not such uniform like in Gujarat. the area of Konstanz has shown the highest level of irradiance level of 3.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh)/square meters/day. Munich, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Freiburg have shown irradiance level of 3.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh)/square meters/day. The above figure has shown the irradiance level is lower than that of the Gujarat in Germany.
4.2 State or Country’s Policy
Indian policy for solar power: Gujarat
Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021 has provided incentives for residential, commercial and industrial rooftop solar developers. the new policy has enabled all types of rooftop solar power developers to sell the power to the DICOMS. The project will not have any ceiling of capacity and contract of 50% load setting is also removed in the new policy. the new policy has the target of encouraging the MSMEs to develop solar power projects in the state (Suryagujarat.guvnl.in, 2022).
4.3. Govt. Schemes and Subsidy Support
There are many schemes available on basis of the consumption style in Gujarat state for solar power. The new policy has reduced the deposit money for solar power developers from 2.5 million in INR to 500000 INR for per mega-watt. for HT and LT consumers, the banking charge will be INR1.5/KWH and for others, it will be INR1.1/KWH (Nrel.gov, 2022). the residential and government buildings do not need to pay any banking charges. the surcharges like cross-subsidy and additional surcharge are applicable for the third-party sale and these surcharges are not applicable for the captive power projects.
With the increasing number of ground-mounted PV systems in Germany, the demand for energy transition has become more significant. This APV system aims to identify the various technologies and mutual benefits that can help meet the country’s energy needs. Although the investment in Agrivoltaics can be economically viable, it will require the necessary policies and procedures to be implemented in a big way. This emerging field of agrivoltaics argues that the legal framework in Germany should also be changed in order to create less bureaucratic circumstances across Europe.
The German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is a critical component of the country’s energy transition. It provides the establishment of a privileged grid connection and the purchase of electricity. However, although the latest version of the EEG (October 2020) included agrivoltaics, it did not provide the establishment of a grid connection for these systems according to § 3(1) EEG. This process involves identifying the lowest possible total economic costs for establishing a grid connection. The system operator then has to decide which costs to bear.
Germany’s federal government has set a goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in the country’s electricity produced from renewable sources to 65 percent by 2035. Under the proposed 2021 amendments, Germany aims to generate all electricity from greenhouse gas-neutral sources by 2050. In order to reach the goal, the capacity of PV should be expanded to around five hundred gigawatts. This expansion will most likely be achieved through ground-mounted systems
4.4 Rules, Regulations and Rates for Feed-in-Tariff (FIT)
The small-scale solar projects can sell the produced power to DISCOMS at .20 INR/KWH higher than the discovered tariff in competitive bidding. The MSMEs may sell their surplus energy at a rate of 2.25 INR/KWH for the first five years and at a rate 75% of the discovered tariff beyond five years (futurepolicy.org, 2022).
The feed-in policy of the country is going to end for the consumers. the tariff of fixed rate is going to end within 20 years. the surcharge for transmission and distribution is segregated among the producers on basis of the size, source and year of installation of the plant (Sutton et al. 2022).
5. SWOT Analysis of APV
Until now, the use of land for both crops and electricity generation simultaneously was restricted. However, through a pilot project, the use of dual use of the land has been successfully demonstrated.
Figure 12: The dual use of agricultural land increases the land use efficiency by 60 percent ©Fraunhofer ISE
5.1.1 Double land use
A dual use of arable land can be achieved through the use of agrivoltaic. This method involves growing crops on the land and using the panels to generate electricity.
The agrivoltaic plant at Heggelbach can supply electricity to sixty-two four-person households with the installed power of 194 kilowatts. In the first twelve months, it produced 1266 kilowatt-hours of electricity per installed kilowatt.
The array’s installed power of 194 kilowatts allowed the project to provide electricity to sixty-two households. In the initial a year, the array generated 1266 kWh of power per installed kilowatt, 33% more than Germany’s normal worth of 950 kWh/kW. (Fraunhofer ISE, 2017)
5.1.2 Diversifies income sources
the income diversification is possible for MSMEs and the commercial buildings by feeding energy in the grid of the DISCOMS. moreover, the cost is reduced for sourcing the energy by using the renewable sources in the residential areas where incremental cost of fuel is reduced by own power development.
5.1.3 Enhances sustainable power sources given by horticulture
5.1.4 Increased efficiency of PV modules
5.2.1 Poor compensation/subsidy schemes
5.2.2 Government’s Policy and Politicos
5.2.3 High capital cost
5.2.4 Non-mature technology
5.2.5 Technical constraints
5.2.6 Lack of awareness and knowledge
5.2.7 Low stakeholders/investors participation
5.3.1 Expanding demand of electricity and food
5.3.2 Sustainable energy production
5.3.3 Lower climate crisis
5.4.1 Social adoption:
5.4.2 Extreme weather
5.4.3 Hazard to life
The weakness is associated with poor compensation rate for the power producers and HT/LT users of solar energy producers. in this aspect, the subsidy scheme is very limited for the commercial producers as the application or contract cost per KWH is too high for small scale developers. Therefore, it enhances the capital cost at the initial stage. Moreover, the government’s policy is inconsistent with the current situation, which is has discouraged many commercial building owners to install rooftop solar PV. The upgradation of PV technology has improved the efficiency of the solar power generation. However, the sudden improvement in the technology has created confusion among the consumers regarding the cycle of the upgraded quality of the PV cells. Moreover, the investment is less in this category of energy producing as it requires some technical skill development for maintenance as well as technical understanding of the solar power generation.
The demand expansion is the major opportunity in both Germany and Gujarat. The areas having high irradiation level in Germany have shown keen interest of the stakeholders to use the renewable energy in the rooftops. further, the policy of lucrative incentives from the Gujarat and government of India has encouraged people to install solar PV in their rooftops. However, the average irradiation level in Gujarat would made the solar power production efficient in the state compared to solar power production in Germany. The renewable energy production is a source of sustainable energy produced by using the solar power, which is unlimited in some parts of Germany and in entire Gujarat.
the threats of the projects of solar power development in Germany and Gujarat are different to each other. The German solar power production faces the challenge of low irradiation level in the country as well as extreme weather. The extreme cold and cloudy weather in Germany has reduced the solar power generation capacity in mainland of the country. However, this feature is not an issue for Gujarat as the climate is mostly sunny in the country. Further, the social adoption level is higher in Germany as the country started adopting renewable energy source pretty earlier than that of other countries. on the other hand, Gujarat is still trying to meet its level of target of generating rooftop renewable energy.
6. Results and Interpretation
6.1 Relation of Results with Objectives
- To identify the practical implementation process for APV system in the farmlands of Gujarat and Germany
The result has shown that practical implementation of APV system in farmlands of Gujarat is possible as the state has shown high irradiation level. On the other hand, German farmlands require more affinity towards the solar power generation as the adoptability in farmlands for solar and Agri-PV installation is less.
- To analyse the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for APV system in both India and Germany
The major strengths of the solar power project are common in both the countries. however, the weaknesses are different. moreover, the APV system of the Gujarat lacks of investment. In research of agro-meteorology, crop models primarily serve in examining scientific hypotheses and organising data. It also helps in integration through disciplines. Models of simulation contribute to a real system that serves in bridging knowledge levels and areas. Hence, the simulations interdisciplinary research results to developed research direction and enhanced research efficiency via direct feedback. BARCOS remain utilised as a referential model or develop other models. Models of crop growth remain utilised in the breeding of plants for simulating the impacts of transformations in physiological and morphological features of crops. This aids in addressing idempotent for various environments. In the words of Santra et al. (2018), crop models might be utilised to assess the impacts of increasing carbon dioxide. It also understands the transformations in rainfall and temperature on the development of crops apart from yield and growth. The breeders need to anticipate future needs depending on climate transformation. Agriculture proves to be a primary activity of the economy in India. Large people in Gujarat depend on farming for their livelihood. This will help them to facilitate their everyday requirements that including food. There remains continuous pressure in improving agricultural production because of the staggered rise in the population of humans. Moreover, agriculture remains influenced by prevailing climate and weather. It demands systemic appraisal for soil and climate resources for recasting efficient land utilisation plans.
- To analyse the efficiency of APV system between India and Germany in a comparative manner
The inclusion of solar power might impact operations of the system, for instance, the amount of conventional generation reduces or increases supply. Gujarat SLDC might prepare for such effects through addressing fluctuations of seasonal and diurnal power fluctuations. A single sub-hour data engulfs the seasonal and time of daily variability. Multiple study years might be required for assessing the long tenure economies of PV plants. Ancillary services creation remains a leading transformation toward system operations. They have the relevant potential to develop options, thereby, decreasing the expenses of uncertainty and variability. Moreover, ancillary services might compensate for provisioning reserves, which is tailored to separate time scales. Dynamic reserves remain targeted to ramp requirements that are centred to year and daytime.
6.2 Adoption of APV for Individual in the Future
A grid-based solar system comprises certain equipment’s where solar inverters, PV panels, power grids, bidirectional meters and cables for connection objectives. In the words of Weselek et al. (2021), such a system works closely with the supply of grid power. It is not utilised for direct battery charging from solar energy. The emphasis is on stimulating and designing a solar plant that is primarily an on-grid method for the Kutchh region of Gujarat. Certain other factors include the material type and quality. This contains a large database for meteorological information across the whole of Gujarat. The design of solar plant primarily depends upon the site’ solar irradiance. It depends on several other factors that indulge type and quality of material, connecting wire, converter circuits and certain auxiliary requirements. The software package referred to PVsyst version of 7.2.2 remains utilised here. Such package generates several catalyst features for analysis objective, which comprises off-grid system, on-grid system, solar energy system, hybrid system and PV system of floating. PV-Syst remains a primary program of software for the objective of sizing, data analysis and study. It serves in simulating and designing preparation for engineers and research scholars.
It contains certain useful characters of PV systems and meteor databases along with general tools of solar energy. Through the aid of such a facility, an engineer might design a better system. Moreover, PV-Syst produces outcomes that contain certain tables and graphs. Moreover, there need to focus on potential areas for creating an agro-voltaic system in the nation. In the words of Weselek et al. (2021), Gujarat primarily receives a larger solar irradiation quantity compared to the nation’s rest portion. There is an opportunity for installing an agro-voltaic system within the region. In the arid region of Gujarat, The district of Kachch has huge potential for harnessing solar energy. Water availability in such arid districts proves to be a limiting attribute for achieving potent crop yielding.
The agro-voltaic system can bring large scope to the farmers of dry land as rained centric crop production remains risky due to scarcity and uncertainty of rainfall. Certain environmental advantages include a decrease in soil erosions through the wind. Conservation of soil moisture serves in decreasing wind velocity on the surface of the ground. In the words of Hernande et al. (2019), larger APV systems enable proper connectivity, and it remains a significant attribute when additional functions associated with human activities/animals remain envisioned. These latest business models or functions can also develop advantageous impacts for the economy. A three-dimensional approach remains effective for favouring design selections that are capable of meeting ecological quality targets. Concerning PV technology’s flexibility, configurations of the integrated system lead to solutions that facilitate complicated objectives set. Advances in the technology of PV tend to provide extra possibilities for greenhouse applications. Concerning spatial configuration, the spacing and height of the module might remain adjusted to develop several crops types depending upon humidity, plant height, space needs and temperature. Aspects of Quality (fruit colouration, size, sugar content) might be impacted through the influence of PV modules since there remain no important production losses. This research emphasises applications of crop farming where relevant adjustments to infrastructure are required. They are good for the total ecologic performance of APV.
Agrivoltaic systems remain a subject for enormous studies because of their potent energy-food nexus. APV illustrates sunlight sharing for co-producing energy and land on the same land piece. Corresponding to the building of testing designs, the constant advancement in PV extends design solutions through utilising variable technologies. It primarily optimises the modules light absorption in certain light spectrum regions. A light resource might be shared for dual purposes, which are crop growth and energy generation. The GOI is required to design policies that provide economic support for installing and purchasing solar panels. It requires to provide insurance coverage for covering unforeseen events including damage or theft. Agrivoltaics remain the scope for GOI in structuring innovative policies including private-public partnerships. Agrivoltaics remain an effective scope for GOI toward structuring innovation policies. There requires to provide training and education to rural people which will maintain their solar farms.
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