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Type Paper
Year 2022
Location United States
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Pascaris, A.S., Schelly, C., Rouleau, M., Pearce, J.M. Do agrivoltaics improve public support for solar? A survey on perceptions, preferences, and priorities. Green Technology, Resilience, and Sustainability 2, 8 (2022). academia, preprint

Agrivoltaic systems integrate agricultural production with solar photovoltaic electricity generation. Given the proven technical, economic, and environmental co-benefits provided by agrivoltaic systems, increased proliferation is anticipated, which necessitates accounting for the nuances of community resistance to solar development on farmland and identifying pathways for mitigation. Minimizing siting conflict and addressing agricultural communities' concerns will be key in continued deployment of agrivoltaics, as localized acceptance of solar is a critical determinant of project success. This survey study assessed if public support for solar development increases when energy and agricultural production are combined in an agrivoltaic system. Results show that 81.8% of respondents would be more likely to support solar development in their community if it integrated agricultural production. This increase in support for solar given the agrivoltaic approach highlights a development strategy that can improve local social acceptance and the deployment rate of solar. Survey respondents prefer agrivoltaic projects that a) are designed to provide economic opportunities for farmers and the local community b) are not located on public property c) do not threaten local interests and d) ensure fair distribution of economic benefits. Proactively identifying what the public perceives as opportunities and concerns related to agrivoltaic development can help improve the design, business model, and siting of systems in the U.S.

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Services provided by agrivoltaics are: renewable electricity generation, decreased green-house gas emissions, reduced climate change, increased crop yield, plant protection from excess solar energy, plant protection from inclement weather such as hail, water conservation, agricultural employment, local food, improved health from pollution reduction increased revenue for farmers, a hedge against inflation, the potential to produce nitrogen fertilizer on farm, on farm production of renewable fuels such as anhydrous ammonia or hydrogen, and electricity for EV charging for on- or off-farm use.
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