Review on Photovoltaic Agriculture Application and Its Potential on Grape Farms in Xinjiang, China

  • Nan Chen
  • Peishi Wu
  • Yiling Gao
  • Xiaoming Ma
Keywords: Solar photovoltaic; PV agriculture; Agrivoltaic; Renewable energy; Land use.


Photovoltaic industry has become extremely important in China as a strategic emerging policy since 2012, and how to widen the domestic demand to overcome the problem of overcapacity has drawn much attention. The so-called “Agrivoltaic”, or, photovoltaic agriculture, could provide a possibly superior approach to providing green and sustainable electricity simultaneously. Xinjiang province, located in Northwestern China, is abundant in renewable energy resources such as wind power and solar radiation; on the other hand, Xinjiang is famous for its growth of grapes with high-intensity of sweetness. Hence, in this paper we firstly introduce some new opportunities for photovoltaic agriculture applications in China, such as photovoltaic greenhouse, photovoltaic water pumping and photovoltaic water purification. Then we focus on one of the applications – the Agrivoltaic potential on grape farms in Xinjiang, and investigate the potential co-develop between the grape production and the solar PV farms, so that the farmers could use the electricity generated from the PV station and simultaneously got the second income from selling the electricity to the grid, without noticeable influence on the crop production output. The results indicate a positive economic value from this hypothesis agrivoltaic system, with green electricity generation, village electrification and the maintenance of the approximately same production of grapes. However, more researches and empirical explorations should be implemented further to draw some unified standard on the agrivoltaic system, so that the output could be stabilized and more and more farmers would be convinced and join the program.