In Italy we return to talk about photovoltaics and agriculture. The Agriculture Minister Patuanelli questions the coexistence of the two. But his opinion runs counter to the Piniec (National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan) and with the projects on the Agrivoltaics.
Analyzing the technical aspect, we can see how photovoltaic plants constructed in rural areas do not necessarily need to take away precious land from farming activities. Indeed energy efficiency can be combined with the sustainable use of land and the protection of biodiversity. The aim is to identify arable and pastoral farming activities that can coexist with solar power plants without having to significantly modify the layout of the plant, thereby containing costs and maintain competitiveness. For example, the unencumbered space between rows of trackers (i.e. the devices that change the direction of the panels in order to capture more solar energy) can be used for planting crops as long as they do not risk shading the panels. The real innovation challenge is the need to come up with an optimal model of integrated management for both the activities tied to the photovoltaic plant’s operation and maintenance and those related to farming – all without altering the layout of the plant and also occupying the valuable land beneath the panels, selecting plants that do not grow beyond a specific height and are well suited to local environmental conditions.
But the real point in Italy is the law, as expressed by many, it is necessary for the government to pass adequate and uniform laws, which allow a correct and transparent construction of the plants.