Agrivoltaic systems and its potential to optimize agricultural land use for energy production in Sri Lanka: A Review

Document Type : Original Article


1 Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

2 Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya


The demand for food and energy is increasing at a fast rate and their security has become the prime issue in especially developing countries like Sri Lanka. Conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation has become a challenging task for the economy as well as for the environment. Therefore, moving to renewable energy has currently grown in the world than ever before as a result of the Paris agreement launched in 2015 and in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7. Photovoltaic based electricity generation is one of the best options for the country as it blessed with an ample amount of solar radiation. Rooftops of houses, buildings, and other suitable infrastructures would be the best places to establish the PV panels. Nevertheless, it needs to expand up to a considerable area of land of photo-voltaic panels to cater to the increasing demand for energy which is available to feed the ever-increasing population. Agri-voltaic system has been proposed as a mixed system, combining photovoltaic with agriculture at the same time on the same land to capture solar energy, for both energy generation and food production while maximizing the solar efficiency on the land. The main eco-physiological constraint for the crop production under the Photovoltaic is the light reduction. Since the inadequate information about most of the crops under the shade conditions, it is extremely difficult to recommend some crop species for their ability to shade tolerance. The use of shading (PV panels) requires more crop-specific research to determine the optimum percentage of panels and their arrangement that do not reduce agricultural production. Crop yield variation with panel shading and practicalities to maximize the system need to be studied extensively. This paper reviews the potential of the Agri-voltaic system and identifies the research gaps in selecting suitable crops under the PV panels.