Shading effect of photovoltaic panels on horticulture crops production: a mini review

Agrivoltaics (APV) combine crops with solar photovoltaics (PV) on the same land area to provide sustainability benefits across land, energy and water systems (Parkinson and Hunt in Environ Sci Technol Lett 7:525–531, 2020). This innovative system is among the most developing techniques in agriculture that attract significant researches attention in the past ten years. The objective of this mini review is to present and summarize the recent studies on the effect of PV shading on crop cultivation (open field system and greenhouses integrated PV panels), with the aim to identify a correlation between the growth indicators, crop quality (antioxidant activity, sugar content, etc.) and the characteristics of PV installation (shading degree).

The alteration of microclimate parameters such as solar radiation, air temperature, humidity and soil temperature under the PV panels was highlighted. Moreover, impact of APV shading on irrigation and water saving and economic feasibility of APV was further discussed. The main findings are that (1) the reduction in solar radiation is the main changed factor underneath the APV canopy where a reduction of more than 40% the solar radiation due to the presence of the PV panels was observed. (2) Agrivoltaic systems (PV greenhouse or ground) with cover ratio equal or lower than 25% did not show significant effects on plant growth and quality. (3) Inhibitory effects on crops growth was observed with coverage ratio of 50 to 100% except for strawberry and spinach. (4) Water use efficiency for some crops species in dry land climate was greater in the APV system. Given the findings, the research seems promising enough to support APV practices that limit PV panel shading to be lower than 25% to avoid affecting crop growth, assumed to be the priority of an agricultural operation.

Read the complete research at

Touil, Sami & Richa, Amina & Fizir, Meriem & Bingwa, Brendon. (2021). Shading effect of photovoltaic panels on horticulture crops production: a mini review. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology. 10.1007/s11157-021-09572-2. 

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