German Pavilion and Session on Agrivoltaics at REI Expo 2021

The 14th Renewable Energy India (REI) Expo took place from 15 to 17 September 2021. It provided a platform to facilitate the dialogue between actors and stakeholders within the sector of Renewable Energies in India. This year, the fair was held in a hybrid format and focused on renewable energy technologies, bringing together experts under the motto “Let’s Reconnect and Rebound” thus referencing the impact of COVID-19 on industry exchange over the past months. The event was, amongst others, inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister Shri Bhagwanth Khuba, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the German Ambassador to India H.E. Walter Lindner, who highlighted the several decades long collaboration between India and Germany in the energy sector and especially in the solar energy market. On that same note, he pointed out that there are still many milestones to be reached by both countries in their transformation journey to achieve a clean and renewable energy supply in accordance with their climate strategies.

In his opening speech, the Hon’ble Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, New and Renewable Energy of the Government of India elaborated on the solar sector’s great potential in India. In cooperation with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), the IGEF-SO organised a virtual German Pavilion at which more than 45 German companies and associations were represented.

On the third and final day of the expo, IGEFSO and the National Solar Energy Foundation of India (NSEFI) hosted an event aiming to foster best-practice exchange from industry experts in the field of Agriphotovoltaics (AgriPV). Inaugurated by Dr. Stephan Hesselmann, Economic Minister Counsellor at the German Embassy in New Delhi, the session hosted four guest speakers to provide all attendees with their expertise and experience in the various projects they are conducting in India and Europe. Mr. Subrahmanyam Pulipaka, CEO of NSEFI, initiated the discussion with his remarks on Indian policy reforms on AgriPV. Mr. Miguel Herrero Cangas from SolarPower Europe (SPE) continued with a presentation of SPE’s “best-practice guide” for AgriPV, detailing insights into successful projects paired with lessons-learned, as well as a full life cycle assessment of agriphotovoltaic infrastructure. Thirdly, participants were provided with an exclusive glance at a rather scientific approach to the topic: Mr. Vivek Saraf from Indian company SunSeed APV introduced their artificial intelligence platform as means to analyze microclimate, water-crop requirements and lightshading to simulate crop yield and resulting revenues. Thereafter, Mr. Shavan Sampath (Oakridge Energy Pvt. Ltd) offered his learnings from a pilot project to add to the discussion on the potential challenges and synergies of AgriPV. In a final presentation, Mr. Maximilian Vorast from Fraunhofer ISE elaborated on the development of regulatory frameworks concerning AgriPV norms in Germany, aiming to further the Indian pathway to strong domestic standards.

All presentations of the session can be downloaded here. Videos can be found on YouTube.