Agrivoltaics is a solar market subsegment that co-locates solar energy production and agricultural operations. Combining these practices into one space creates an efficient and sustainable land use system that benefits farmers, solar developers, rural communities, and the earth itself. This emerging form of renewable energy blends complementary land uses and eliminates the false “food or energy” dichotomy that has traditionally dominated discussions about solar-agricultural land use. People often feel forced to choose between fuel or farming, climate or conservation, energy or rural economies. But with thoughtful planning, communities can simultaneously expand and strengthen solar infrastructure while conserving farmland, generating ecological benefits, and supporting rural places.
Relying on combined solar and agricultural knowledge from the authors, Agrivoltaics: Producing Solar Energy While Protecting Farmland introduces agrivoltaics and highlights the various agricultural, environmental, ecological, and economic benefits that these systems can generate. The report, which is written for a broad audience, also examines how communities, solar developers, local leaders, and policy makers can effectively promote, support, and regulate agrivoltaic systems.