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Network AgriPVplus  - Linking biodiversity strategies to agrivoltaics

Network AgriPVplus - Linking biodiversity strategies to agrivoltaics

Motivation

The European Green Deal aims that Europe becomes the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In this strategy, Photovoltaic (PV) is one of the key technologies to reduce significant greenhouse gas emissions. However, large ground-mounted PV power plants generate conflict between stakeholders who have an interest in the same land. Farmers are worried to lose land to grow crops and thus their income, conservationists are concerned about the dramatic loss of biodiversity and energy producer wants to build profitable PV power plants. Therefore, we need to bring all stakeholders together to work out innovative and sustainable land-use strategies which combine agriculture, biodiversity, and energy production.

Project’s Mission

Agrivoltaic (Agri-PV) involves the use of land both for agriculture and solar energy generation. Such dual systems have been developed in recent years. So far, however, their potential to contribute to biodiversity and ecosystem services restoration has been rarely discussed. Our network aims to investigate an innovative and sustainable triple use approach, called the AgriPVplus system, that combines crop production, solar energy generation, and restoration of biodiversity. The aforementioned approach enables to, e.g., improve species diversity in intensively used agricultural areas or the restoration of degraded soil, resolves land-use conflicts, and foster socioeconomic benefits.

Within the project Anhalt University of Applied Sciences will establish a European cross-sectoral network aiming to raise the awareness of innovative AgriPVplus approaches, demonstrating its potential to restore biodiversity, and providing an online platform to foster international collaboration.

Value to the Global Community

Agri-PV have been studied recently by many research groups in Europe. In Germany Photovoltaic in combination with Biodiversity becomes a hot topic not only in research but also among the PV industry, farmers, and also among local politicians.

Our approach to Agri-PV goes a step further. Our research focuses on solutions that combine PV, agriculture and measures, and strategies to increase biodiversity and improve ecosystem services. This international network will bring together stakeholders from the three different areas.

The Network AgriPVplus will

  1. build an interdisciplinary research group of ecologists, photovoltaic research engineers, and agricultural scientists;
  2. form a cross-sector collaboration between science, the solar industry, farmers, and relevant stakeholders;
  3. develop joint projects of European-wide relevance;
  4. demonstrate the application of well tested restoration methods for the triple use approach of Agri-PVplus systems and research of its effects and synergies;
  5. support the EU Restoration Agenda of the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.

How to Participate

Our Team - Maren, Sandra, Carlos and Sebastian - looks forward to hear from you.

Please send an email to:

AgriPVplus@hs-anhalt.de

About us

Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (HSA) is located in Central Germany, in one of Germany's most vibrant cultural and economic regions. Traditionally this is where a particular focus has been placed on combining science and innovation. Among Germany's higher education institutions, HSA can lay claim to a top position as a place at excellent research. In 2018 Anhalt University of Applied Sciences was selected as one of Germany´s Innovative University by the Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research. HSA has been involved in a number of national research programs, some of which occurred in an international context. Our successful application and transfer-oriented research projects extend across the whole of Central Germany - and beyond.

Our biodiversity research group lead by Prof. Dr. Sabine Tischew has experience in near-natural restoration of post-mining landscapes in Central Germany’s lignite mining area, in the optimization of ecosystem functions and services by restoring biodiversity in grassland, and heathlands and in intensively used agricultural landscapes. Current projects deal with the implementation and monitoring of nature conservation measures, for instance, i) different grazing approaches aimed at the restoration of different grassland types, ii) re-establishing and managing mesic and alluvial grasslands, iii) nature-oriented greening measures, and iv) integration of biodiversity measures in crop production systems. The research group has comprehensive experience regarding the conception and scientific supervision of test- and demonstration trials. In numerous projects, we cooperate with the German Agricultural Society, the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture Saxony-Anhalt and regional farmers. Moreover, the project results are regularly included in methodology manuals, recommendations, or online platforms.

Our Photovoltaic research group has expertise in all research areas along the value chain beginning with module production up to the system behavior. It is active in all work packages of the project related to PV system design and monitoring. Most relevant activities are in the module reliability area, especially by supporting with monitoring of the PV demonstrator systems and the research in the area of analysis of big data by artificial intelligence. HSA-PV operates an indoor and an outdoor test lab for PV-modules and has decades of experience in the design and analysis of PV-modules and PV-systems, and is active in standardization committees by Prof. Dr. Ralph Gottschalg.

Both research groups are currently establishing an AgriPVplus test field with integrated biodiversity measures at our Campus in Bernburg.

You can find us also under www.offenlandinfo.de Instagram www.instagram.com/offenlandinfo and Twitter www.twitter.com/offenlandinfo

Related Projects

  • BIODIV-SOLAR - Biodiversity in the solar park - Innovative concepts and establishment of demonstrators for a better compatibility of ground mounted photovoltaic systems, nature conservation and agriculture (BMBF FH-Kooperativ, 2021-2025).
  • LIFE VineAdapt - Increasing biodiversity to make vineyards more resilient to climate change (LIFE program Climate Action, 2020-2025).
  • ProSeed - Large-scale grassland restoration: the use of establishment windows and high diversity seeding by the knowledge transfer of regional seed propagation to Hungary (DBU, 2013-2015).
  • SALVERE - Semi-natural Grassland as a Source of Biodiversity Improvement (EU Interreg Central Europe Program, 2009-2011).
  • PV CAMPER - Photovoltaic Collaborative to Advance Multi-climate Performance Energy Research (un-funded global network, 2019-today)
  • BiFaTest - Development of characterization methods and applications of bi-facial solar cells and modules (BMWi-ZIM, 2016-2019)
  • TruePowerTM Alliance – advanced combination of extended indoor and outdoor PV module & system testing across various climate zones (SERIS, 2017-2027)

Acknowledgment

The project NetPV-Land (FH-Europa: Netzwerkaufbau für multifunktionale Freiflächen-Photovoltaiksysteme in der Renaturierung degradierter Landschaften) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, funding code 13FH013EX0, project duration 01.05.2021-30.04.2022).

Conferences

Poster presentation at the SERE Conference 2021

Fachgruppe

Arbeitsgruppe

Art des Projekts

Forschungsprojekt

Zugehöriger Workspace

NetPV-Land

Entstehungszeitraum

SoSe 21 – SoSe 22

Keywords