Side Event at REI 2023 “Agrivoltaics: Exploring AgriPV Potential in India”

The Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF-SO) hosted a side event on Agrivoltaics at the Renewable Energy India Expo on 5 October. This event delved into the nuances of defining AgriPV in the context of India, while also exploring potential business models and practical implementations for the country. Esteemed experts shared their valuable insights and experiences in the field. The event aimed to provide guidance to developers, farmers, and institutions, aligning them with the established definition of Agriphotovoltaics.

Professor Eicke Weber, the Vice-Chair of the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESCMC), shed light on the AgriPV potential in Germany. He emphasized that a remarkable 80% of all investments in new power plants in Germany are directed towards renewable energy sources. Professor Weber projected a substantial increase from gigawatts (GW) to terawatts (TW) by 2030, stating that the current decade is going to be the era of solar energy. He underscored the path ahead as "One Hectare – One APV Plant - One Farmer."

Ms R. Kaplana Sastry, Managing Director of AG Hub, provided in-depth insights into a 10-kilowatt AgriPV pilot programme that commenced in November 2022. He discussed the farming outcomes and the economic viability of the pilot, asserting that "AgriPV has the potential to become a significant and sustainable tool in India's agriculture sector."

Mr Vivek Saraf, CEO and Founder of SunSeed, shared his observations and experiences from an ongoing project involving a 3.75 meter AgriPV Shadehouse. He explained the various aspects of AgriPV, highlighting how agricultural infrastructure enhances solar yields through increased bifacial gains and partial on-site consumption. He also spoke on different project applications and the general benefits of agrivoltaics.

Mr Deepak Zade, Assistant Vice President of Industry Services for Green Energy & Sustainability at TÜV SÜD, discussed the company's initiatives in the Indian renewable energy sector. He emphasized the importance of a deeper understanding of both the factors contributing to success and the challenges involved in achieving widespread adoption of renewable energy in pursuit of the mission to attain net-zero emissions.

Mr Moshe Horowitz, the VP of Global Business Development at Solargik, provided insights into current AgriPV projects in Israel and the company's innovative structural solutions. He shed light on the shading effects associated with different tracking methodologies, expressing the company's commitment to scaling up the projects and making them competitive on a larger scale.

Dr Dilip Kushwaha, a scientist at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, stressed the significance of harnessing the potential of AgriPV, which combines agricultural practices with solar photovoltaic technology. This integration can drive sustainable agricultural development and promote renewable energy growth in India.

The concluding discussion empasised on an APV center of excellence to be set up and the need for an APV alliance with NSEFI.

Dr. R. Kaplana Sastry gave insights into an AgriPV pilot programme.

Mr Moshe Horowitz shared his knowledge on AgriPV projects in Israel.

Before the speakers of the session were rewarded.

Professor Eicke Weber giving insights into the AgriPV potential in Germany.