Agro PV

Challenges in the Food, Water and Energy Nexus

Chile is one of the countries most affected by climate change worldwide, putting the agricultural sector in particular at risk. In the north and center of the country, especially, small farmers are suffering from water shortages in the region due to a drought that has lasted 12 years. In addition to water scarcity, agriculture faces unpredictable weather phenomena such as hail, frost, heavy rainfall and excessive solar irradiation, which threaten crop yields. 


At the same time, land use conflicts between energy production and agriculture are evident in Central Chile. The main agricultural production areas are located in each of the regions due to the presence of fertile soils and, at the same time, most of the country's energy demand is concentrated. 


To maintain agricultural productivity, it is crucial to mitigate the effects of climate change with the transition of the energy system and avoid competition for land between energy and food production. But how to achieve this. This is where AgroPV offers a solution, enabling clean energy generation and agricultural production in the same place.

PV panels integrated in agriculture

In this context, the Agro PV, or agri-voltaic, concept integrates PV panels into agriculture to combine agricultural production and clean energy generation on the same land. This concept was invented by Adolf Goetzberger of Fraunhofer ISE in 1982. An Agro PV system can increase land use efficiency and enable other positive synergistic effects for agriculture, such as climate protection of sensitive crops and improved water use efficiency. 


PV panels can be implemented in several ways in agriculture. Elevated support structures allow farming to be practiced under the panels and vertically installed modules allow farming between the rows of modules. 


In 2020, Fraunhofer ISE estimated a total installed agri-voltaic capacity of 14 GWp worldwide, with most installations located in Asia (China, Japan, Korea) and Europe (France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands).  More information on the current status and development of the technology is now available in the Agrivoltaics Guide (EN) published by Fraunhofer ISE.

Pilot project in the Metropolitan Region

In a project financed by the FIC-R fund of the Metropolitan Regional Government, Fraunhofer Chile installed three pilot plants in the communes of El Monte, Curacaví and Lampa with an installed capacity of 13 kWp each, generating up to 20.8 MWh/year and thus avoiding 8.8 tons of CO2/year. 


The project was executed in collaboration with Fraunhofer ISE of Germany as a result of their experience with a 194 kWp industrial-scale pilot plant that was transferred and adapted to local conditions in Chile.

The pilot plants are used as real laboratories to study the implications of agrivoltaics on solar power generation and agricultural productivity.


We monitor the coefficient of performance (COP), measure fouling rates, control the microclimate under the PV panels and evaluate the performance results in comparison to the respective reference areas. Learn more about our pilot projects in Chile in our Agro PV project newsletter.

© Fraunhofer Chile
© Fraunhofer Chile
© Fraunhofer Chile







The video covers the experience carried out by Fraunhofer Chile and FIC-R Met in three pilot plants in the Metropolitan Region of Chile.

Results: Synergies for Agriculture and Energy Transition

Current research results obtained with the pilot plants validate the synergistic potential of agrivoltaics for agriculture and the PV market:


The measured reduction in solar irradiance of 40% under the systems leads to an increase in soil moisture of 29%, indicating the potential to reduce overall irrigation water demand. The reduction in irradiance validates the potential for the agrivoltaic plant to protect crops from excess sun and air temperature measurements show a cooling effect of the agrivoltaic system during the day and an increase in air temperature that can protect from frost during the night. For more information on the impact on the microclimate, download the poster available here on the website in the publications section.


In our pilot plants, we observed an increase in land use efficiency of up to 187% for lettuce crops, whose yield was not affected by the agrivoltaic system and power generation was 87% compared to a conventional PV system on the same area. The changes in electricity generation were due to suboptimal orientation of the PV panels and increased row spacing.

Fraunhofer develops pilot projects worldwide

Fraunhofer is implementing pilot projects around the world in various climatic zones and agricultural contexts.


Examples are the APV Orcharding project examining agrivoltaics in combination with apple trees in Germany; the APV MaGa project, which investigates a rainwater harvesting system within an agrivoltaics pilot plant in Mali and The Gambia; as well as the Hyperfarm project, which involves the construction of three pilot plants in combination with hydrogen production distributed in Belgium, Denmark and Germany.


More information can be found on the Fraunhofer ISE agrivoltaics website


APV Orcharding

[Fraunhofer ISE] La agrivoltaica como concepto de resiliencia para la adaptación al cambio climático en la huerta



[Fraunhofer ISE] Agrivoltaics  para Mali y Gambia: producción de electricidad sostenible mediante sistemas integrados de alimentos, energía y agua


APV Hyperfarm

[Fraunhofer ISE] Hidrógeno y Electrificación Fotovoltaica en Granja

Incorporation of AgroPV in the Chilean market

Chile has a high implementation potential for agrivoltaics due to its high solar irradiation and climate-sensitive agricultural sector. To date, however, the technology is not yet commercialized, but researched in Fraunhofer Chile's pilot plant facilities. 


In order to implement our research results and to transfer the global agrivoltaics projects of the Fraunhofer network in Chile, we support industry and the public sector in the elaboration of agrivoltaics concepts and in concrete projects. In this context, we cover the services of the entire project development process in collaboration with Fraunhofer ISE in Germany:

Studies and Potential

  • Conceptualization of preliminary designs 
  • Techno-economic evaluation of preliminary designs
  • Estimation of synergistic potential for agriculture

System design

  • Agricultural context assessment (field visits and documentation)
  • Elaboration of 3D plant designs 
  • Simulation of light distribution for design validation

Measurement and Data Analysis

  • Implementación de sensores, transmisión de datos y base de datos
  • Cuantificación de la relación de rendimiento corregida por el tiempo, evapotranspiración, análisis del microclima


  • Lectures, seminars and webinars
  • Training workshops

News and press releases


Edición Especial Revista El Campo

En edición especial Revista El Campo de El Mercurio 17.02.2021 aborda detalles de la tecnología agrivoltaica y el proyecto APV de Fraunhofer Chile 


[Entrevista] “Necesitamos una normativa que clasifique sistemas FV en la agricultura según su impacto”

Entrevistado por H2News David Jung, ingeniero investigador en el Fraunhofer CSET Chile: “Necesitamos una normativa que clasifique sistemas FV en la agricultura según su impacto”


[Pv Magazine] Noticia proyecto Agrivoltaico

PV Magazine publica nota "Proyecto agrovoltaico de Fraunhofer Chile busca solucionar golpes de sol"


[Webinar AGRYD] Agrivoltaico: Potencial de Implementación de Energía Solar en la Agricultura

Agrivoltaico: Potencial de Implementación de Energía Solar en la Agricultura. Presentación de David Jung efectuada en Webinar organizado por AGRYD.

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