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Way Forward

To date, most agrivoltaics facilities in India are research pilots. Real farmer exposure to agriphotovoltaics remains limited, making it difficult to enhance wide-spread public acceptance towards this innovative approach. It is essential to understand and apply various social, economic and political policies in order to facilitate the process of implementation. Learnings from countries having already acchieved the implementation of large-scale projects could be adopted to make agrivoltaics a success in India. Below we provide a few such recommendations towards effectively addressing these challenges.

1. Define Agriphotovoltaics

  • Indian norm may be drafted by assessing and analyzing the German standardisation DIN SPEC 91434:2021-05

  • Define minimum standards and specifications for PV modules to ensure quality issues are addressed adequately

  • Min. of 80% of the total surface is available and used for agricultural purposes

  • Crop cultivation plan, cleaning concept and annual reports to be made mandatory

  • Foresee further adaptations based on continuous feedback from farmers and developers for design improvement

  • Explore practical experiences of large utility scale >10 MWp agrivoltaic farms

  • Consultation with Ministry for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to ensure a clear ownership structure from onset

2. Define deployment targets for Agriphotovoltaics for the next 10 years

  • Start with annual targets in MW towards potential GW targets until 2030

  • Involve states with a request to submit state wise targets to ensure ownership

  • Involve the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to improve collaborative efforts of the agricultural and energy sector

3. Initiate special “innovation tenders” for Agriphotovoltaic projects

  • Through SECI, NTPC, NHPC and other nodal agencies

  • Draft a federal tender guideline supporting states to easily adjust and adapt to regional conditions

  • Consider different cost structures of various agrivoltaic concepts by defining sub groups within agrivoltaics tender guideline (distinguish between tenders for vertical and horizontal agrivoltaics)

  • Allow projects to be developed on agricultural land

  • Consider offering around 25% viability gap funding for a certain amount of initial capacity

  • Create bank financing products specific to Agri PV projects through IREDA, NABARD and others

  • In consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare explore opportunities for synergies in the horticulture sector e.g. for grapes or other fruits or vegetables that require protection from sun scorching or other extreme weather events

4. Introduce the 10th category of “agriphotovoltaic land” to the current classification of land in India

  • Based on Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, see here

  • Provide legal certainty to farmers by certifying their land holdings especially regarding agricultural land productivity and clearly defined rights in a potential lease agreement

  • Category to assure developers to get all construction permits if in line with the definition of Agriphotovoltaics

  • Provide guidelines for supporting states to elaborate common approval procedures in their region

5. Establish a multi ministerial committee to coordinate action

  • With members from MNRE, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Science and Technology

  • With the involvement of interest groups from Industry and Agriculture and states

6. Introduce Agriphotovoltaics Award of the Year

  • Together with NISE on a national level

7. Establish a dedicated national research program on Agriphotovoltaics

  • Create a compendium of suitable Agri and Horti crops and the extent of increase in productivity based on climatic zones which will aid in project design and development
  • Involve Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

8. Establish dedicated skill development and capacity building programs ​

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