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4th of November 2023, New Delhi

Technical Tour to Sunmaster Agrivoltaics Plant as part of Solar World Congress 2023

On 4th of November Indo-German Energy Forum supported in the organization of a site visit to Sunmaster Agrivoltaics plants outside of Delhi. Around 30 participants 

30th of October 2023, New Delhi

1st India Agrivoltaics Summit: Launch of India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA)

IAA will integrate India’s progress on solar energy and agriculture for positive socio-economic and climate impact. National Solar Energy Federation of India will serve as the secretariat of the alliance, which is comprised on 12 organisations and supported by the India Climate Collaborative and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

The India Agrivoltaics Alliance (IAA) was launched, during the first India Agrivoltaics Summit held on 30th October, by Joint Secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Shri Lalit Bohra ji. Supported by the India Climate Collaborative (ICC) and Bloomberg Philanthropies, IAA brings together organisations across the entire agriculture and solar value chains. This alliance will be steered by 12 organisations including – National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Indian Society of Agricultural Engineering (ISAE), Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ), Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) Japan, and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, with the secretariat of the alliance hosted by NSEFI. IAA will forge strong collaborations with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA), Government of India, to drive the harmonious synergy of renewables and agriculture.

India’s current renewable energy goals will require access to large areas of land. At the same time, India is heavily dependent on agriculture, with 60% of its land area farmed. Agrivoltaics can address this unique challenge by optimising land usage, through the co-location of solar panels with agriculture, or where solar panels can be placed alongside crops and pastoral lands, for growing crops as well as generating solar energy. Co-locating solar panels with agricultural farms is also vital to prepare farmers to survive climate-induced extreme weather, by laying a strong foundation for climateresilient agriculture and doubling farmers’ incomes.

 

Recognising this opportunity, the IAA has been created to better champion the entire spectrum of agrivoltaics, by bringing together all stakeholders across the value chain in the solar and agricultural sectors, including industry associations, research institutes, financial institutions like NBFCs, policy think tanks, civil society organisations, and FPOs. The alliance will work towards developing effective business models and financial instruments for agrivoltaics, study the socio-economic impact of agrivoltaics on India’s agricultural scenario, and strive for the inclusion of women and youth communities of India in the emerging field of agrivoltaics.

 

The alliance was launched by Shri Lalit Bohra Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India. Speaking at the launch Mr. Bohra emphasized that Agrivoltaics is an instrument to popularize Distributed renewable energy adoption and sensitizing the public at large for adopting RE. Agrivoltaics will also serve as a triple advantage offering for saving water, doubling farmers income and making the power sector financially viable, without compromising on the food security. Agrivoltaics will help make India’s Agriculture sector sustainable while using clean electricity and promoting energy efficiency. Shri Lalit Bohra also interacted with farmers across the country who have been beneficiaries of agrivoltaics. Farmers described their experiences and how their economic conditions have been positively impacted by the adoption of agrivoltaics.

 

Shri Deepak Gupta, Honourable Director General, NSEFI who led the National Solar Mission as the Secretary, MNRE said “The launch of the India Agrivoltaics Alliance is a pivotal moment in our nation's journey towards sustainable energy. Agrivoltaics is not just a technology; it's a commitment to harmonizing agriculture and solar energy for a greener, more resilient future. This alliance will be instrumental in achieving this harmony, fostering innovation, and driving the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape in India.”

 More information about India Agrivoltaics Alliance can be found here: Agri Energy - Renewable Energy (indiaagripv.org)

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5th of October 2023, New Delhi

Agrivoltaics Session at REI 2023

The Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF-SO) hosted a site event on Agrivoltaics at the Renewable Energy India Expo on 5th 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 emphasized on an Agrivoltaics center of excellence to be set up and the need for an Agrivoltaics alliance with NSEFI.

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25th July 2023, Manwath / Delhi

Release of the Manwath AgriPV site project video

The project video focuses on the manwath AgriPV site, which is being implemented by Sunseed APV and GIZ under DeveloPPP funding. DeveloPPP is a funding program under the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aimed at supporting companies wanting to invest sustainably in developing and emerging countries.

The overarching goal of the project is to prove the economic and ecological benefits of AgriPV in India. This shall be achieved by gathering evidence and data on agriculture production under an agrivoltaic pilot system and quantifying the enhancement in photovoltaic production when co-located with agricultural production. It enables dual use of land through the generation of clean solar energy co-located with agricultural activities on the same piece of land. The shading from solar panels enables high-yield horticulture models that increase crop yield while conserving precious water resources.

23 June 2023, New Delhi

Workshop on AgriPV in India- Scope and Prospects

On 23. June 2023 the 1st Workshop on AgriPV in India - Scope and Prospects" was hosted by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under guidance from Dr. Arun K. Tripathi with support from by GIZ Innovative solar Projects and Indo-Germen Energy Forum - Support Office at Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan, New Delhi.

 

The primary objective of the Workshop was to bring together stakeholders from the Agriculture and Renewable Energy sectors including Researchers, Policymakers, Farmers, Industry Experts, and Academicians.

The inaugural session was presented by MNRE; Prof. Dr. Indramani, Vice Chancellor, VNMKV Parbhani; Dr. Arun K. Tripathi, Advisor/Scientist G; Dr. Viswanathan Chinnusamy, Joint Director, IARI and Mr. Tobias Winter, Director, IGEF-SO (from left to right)

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8th May 2023, Manwath / Parbhani

Delegation to Manwath AgriPV site and roundtable at Parbhani Agriculture University

The site visit on 8th of may was organized on behalf of Indo-German Energy Forum and GIZ Innovative Solar Project under the guidance of Dr A. K. Tripathi, Scientist G and Head of R&D at MNRE.

The visited AgriPV site in Manwath is implemented under the DeveloPPP funding by Sunseed APV and GIZ. The overarching goal of this project is to prove the economic and ecological benefits of agrivoltaics in India. This shall be achieved by gathering evidence and data on agriculture production under an agrivoltaic pilot system as well as quantifying the enhancement in photovoltaic production when co-located with agriculture. The project is on 4.25 acres of land and has 14 crops that are currently being investigated with various instruments for data collection alongside micro-climate analysis.

The site visit was followed by a roundtable organized by Dr. Indra Mani Mishra, VC at Parbhani Agriculture University.

The delegation to the site visit and university roundtable was formed of 31 representatives from 18 respected organizations.

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29th March 2023, New Delhi

Publication of the updated version of the joint NSEFI and IGEF report on Agrivoltaics in India, an overview of operational projects and relevant policies.

The Indo-German Energy Forum, together with the National Solar Energy Federation of India, has published the updated version of their Joint Report on Agrivoltaics in India, an overview of operational projects and relevant policies.

This updated report provides a comprehensive overview of the current situation of Agrivoltaics In India. This includes a summary of 21 operational pilot projects as well as a detailed examination of their technical, economical and agricultural properties. Furthermore, the paper presents a preliminary review of Indian policies relevant to Agrivoltaics as a concept.

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15th - 17th March 2023, Jodhpur

6th Best Practices Study Tour and International Workshop on AgriPV Plants, RE Grid Integration and Green Hydrogen

The Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), together with the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) organised this 6th Best Practices Study Tour and International Workshop on AgriPV Plants, RE Grid Integration. It was held in Jodpur, Rajasthan, from the 15th to the 17th of March and reached the impressive number of 82 participants.

 

As part of the tour, a visit to CAZRI's 105 KWp Agri PV installation was organised on the 16th. The principal scientists Dr. Santra, Dr. Jain and Dr. Poonia explained the various subsystems and the analysis that has been carried out over the last few years. This was followed by a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort for the rest of the day.

 

On the 17th, the day started with the welcome address by several dignitaries from KfW, JVVNL, MBM, CBIP. Later, the first half of the day was dedicated to presentations on AgriPV by speakers from Sunseed APV, CAZRI, IGEF and ERDA. Case studies, legal aspects, requirements for solar pumping systems were part of these presentations. The second half of the day was dedicated to presentations on Green Hydrogen by speakers from World Bank, WRI, TANGENCO on topics such as Offshore Wind and Green Hydrogen Scenario in Tamilnadu and Green Hydrogen Strategy in India. Finally, the event was concluded with questions and answers, distribution of mementos and vote of thanks.

We thank our esteemed speakers, and encouraging audience for their participation and hope for a continued cooperation and discussion on AgriPV!

For more information click here.

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29th September 2022, Greater Noida

“Business Opportunities for AgriPV in India” - Session at the REI Expo 2022

The Indo-German Energy Forum, together with the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) hosted a session on the “Business Opportunities for AgriPV in India” on the 29th of September 2022, during the 15th annual Renewable Energy India Expo in Great Noida.

The session was moderated by Ms. Luz Alicia Aguilar, Senior Project Manager for International Affairs, BSW-Solar. Joining virtually, Dr. Nicole Glanemann, Deputy Head of Division at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) of Germany, highlighted the benefits AgriPV can provide in India and how the co-location of solar energy generation and crop cultivation can promote clean and renewable energy without sacrificing scarce land.

Joining the session as speakers were Mr. David Wedepohl, Managing Director International Affairs, BSW-Solar; Dr. Martin Lux, Head Energy Team, KfW India; Mr. SubPulipaka, CEO, National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI);  Mr. Siddharth Goel, Senior Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD); Mr. Vivek Saraf, CEO and Co-Founder, SunSeed APV;  Ms. Suruchi Kotoky, Senior Associate, BTG Legal; and Mr. Sascha Krause-Tünker, CFO, NEXT2Sun.

The session addressed various aspects of AgriPV and its implementation across India. Some key topics included the economics of AgriPV, specifically looking at cost and revenues from agriculture and solar; business models, addressing the alignment of incentives for both farmers and developers; legal requirements and barriers; and AgriPV design and innovations that will play a role in further establishing AgriPV across India.

As Mr. Pulipaka, NSEFI, outlined, AgriPV has the potential to be a win, win, win, win, win; for agriculture, solar, academia, government and the community. Yet, as the speakers from various fields highlighted, some questions remain to be addressed, whereby a greater stakeholder contribution and further capacity building of both developers and farmers in needed. Dr. Lux, KfW India, further emphasised, the need to establish bankable projects that are truly Agri + PV, not PV + Agri.

The session brought together an audience from both public and private sectors, including solar and agrivoltaics developers, government institutions, NGOs and research institutions in the fields of both energy and agriculture.

We thank our esteemed speakers, and encouraging audience for their participation and hope for a continued cooperation and discussion on AgriPV!

For an overview of the addressed topics and key points from the session, please click here.

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23rd August 2022, New Delhi

National Roundtable Conference on Agri-Renewables in India

On 23rd August, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) and Indo German Energy Forum (IGEF) jointly organised the the 'National Round Table on Agri-Renewables in India: A Double Enige Growth Strategy'.

Together with Hon'ble Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Shri Lalit Bohra, a wide range of representatives and stakeholders from the private and public sector discussed the mutual benefits of integrating agriculture and renewable energy generation.

The NSEFI and IGEF launched the report "Legal Aspects of Agri-Photovoltaics in India", which provides an analysis of the current legal framework applying to the development of AgriPV. The study highlights the challenges current regulations pose for AgriPV development and outlines future needs for enabling AgriPV design and implementation from a legal standpoint.

On this occassion the NSEFI and IGEF also launched this Agrivoltaics website, to establish a one-stop source for all information about AgriPV in India.

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