BayWa r.e. has secured €6.5 million from the EU’s LIFE Programme for six innovative projects across five countries by 2027, integrating agriculture and solar power generation. These pioneering initiatives aim to advance the commercial viability of Agri-PV and demonstrate its effectiveness as a climate-adaptation strategy for fruit and crop cultivation in Europe.
Three projects in France, Spain, and the Netherlands under EU LIFE ADAPT-PV will enhance fruitvoltaic projects’ resilience to climate change while generating green solar energy. Meanwhile, projects in Germany, Spain, and Italy as part of EU LIFE LEAD-PV will explore scaling up Agri-PV with arable crops, contributing to reduced CO2 emissions in land use. These projects will offer valuable insights, with the German project being the first to research Agri-PV and traditional crops at such a large scale.
LIFE, the European Union’s funding initiative for environmental and climate actions, co-finances projects aligned with key policies like the Farm to Fork Strategy, emphasizing sustainable food systems. These six projects are aligned with the circular land use economy aspect of Farm to Fork, aiming to produce essential data for enhancing upcoming initiatives and ensuring their long-term commercial viability. This collaboration with private sector expertise promises widespread benefits across the EU.
Dr. Stephan Schindele, Head of Product Management Agri-PV at BayWa r.e. commented: “With these six projects, across five countries, we’re pushing innovative Agri-PV applications into the marketplace. Only if the farming, environment, and energy sectors work hand in hand, can we successfully adapt to to climate change while also minimising carbon footprint in farming processes.”
Bernd Decker, Representative of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, established by the European Commission, added: “Adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change is a key challenge for agriculture; thus, innovative initiatives which optimise land use and energy production are more than welcome. We are looking forward to collaborating with BayWa r.e., as they’ve got a wealth of agricultural and energy knowledge built up over decades. This initiative could potentially develop our understanding in a lot of key environmental areas. Plastic waste reduction, efficient water use, cutting chemical or pesticide reliance, CO2 emission reduction; the list goes on. All are vital co-benefits in our response to climate change.”