Agrivoltaics in India
Challenges and opportunities for scale-up
In the future, many countries, including India, may witness growing competition for land resources between agriculture and renewable energy. Agrivoltaics—the simultaneous use of land for both agriculture and photovoltaic (PV) power generation—offers a potential solution. Studies show potential for increasing crop yield and panel efficiency, making agrivoltaics an attractive option for farmers and solar developers. Agrivoltaics has grown swiftly across the world in recent years, and India is taking the first steps in its adoption, with more than a dozen pilot projects having been deployed across the country.
This paper reports the experiences of stakeholders (power distribution companies, agricultural universities, private solar PV developers, and farmers) who have implemented agrivoltaics pilots across India. The objective is to bring together evidence from research studies and learnings from pilot projects through interviews with relevant stakeholders to summarize the current status, implementation challenges, and opportunities for commercialization and scale-up of agrivoltaics. The paper aims to inform future policy actions and studies by bringing out key guiding observations and addressing key research questions.
The findings in this paper are designed to support state agencies, developers, and other stakeholders in the faster adoption of agrivoltaics by providing policy recommendations, proposing business models, as well as financial and technical transitions mechanism.
This paper is a supplementary companion to a comprehensive guidebook (to be published on May 30, 2023) on how to deploy small-scale decentralized solar power plants under India’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme. The guidebook provides practical guidance to states on how they can begin to pilot agrivoltaics in their first phases of deployment under PM-KUSUM, which explicitly states that it can be used to support agrivoltaics.
Supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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