In March 2023, France handed a regulation to speed up the manufacturing of renewable vitality. On this interview, Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine, Deputy Basic Supervisor Enterprise Growth with TSE, discusses the essential position that agrivoltaics will play not solely in weaning the nation from fossil fuels, but additionally in offering advantages to these farmer in France.
What’s the potential for the event of agrivoltaic initiatives in France?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: We’re on the finish of a primary photo voltaic growth cycle that’s on the bottom in France. Previously 15 years, the federal government has favored large-scale solar energy crops in degraded land. Immediately these websites have gotten extra distinctive with extra challenges, particularly relating to environmental points. To speed up the event of photo voltaic vitality, many pursuits should come collectively in the identical mission, whether or not in ecological or agricultural issues. Agrivoltaics is a vital component for the event of photovoltaic in France, so long as it’s properly conceived, it implies that the set up of PV is virtuous for the exercise by which it accompanies, greater than a easy fee.
How can agro-solar pairing be useful for land and agricultural actions?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: The mixture of a photo voltaic vitality supply with a cultivated land or a livestock farm supplies varied advantages. To start with, it provides the plant safety in opposition to climatic hazards comparable to hail or excessive temperatures by making a rotating shadow within the house. It permits the regulation of temperature and the transition between moments of water and the warmth stress of the crops. It additionally reduces evapotranspiration and, in consequence, water consumption. For instance, within the first soybean harvest in our Amance mission, we reported a 75% discount in water stress beneath the system in comparison with the reference plot!
Each developer has a selected set of necessities for the answer they design. TSE has developed a spread of merchandise that meet the precise wants and constraints of the sphere to supply agri-PV options for crops, livestock areas, barren land, and so on. .
What are the technological options to contemplate?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: The principle limitations that we put collectively are associated to the orientation of the plots, their typology, their topography, and naturally, the normal necessities of solar energy crops. What makes TSE options particular is that they’re designed based mostly on the wants of the agricultural exercise. The problem for us is to supply the farmer with a service that matches his farming practices, whether or not when it comes to cultivation or mechanization. Our cover permits the passage of just about all agricultural equipment due to an inter-pole house of 27 meters within the route of cultivation with a low level of 5 meters.
Who’re your totally different companions and the way do you’re employed with them?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: We develop massive volumes of initiatives according to the distinctive challenges going through the nation. We depend on companions who’re each regionally established and able to industrializing in massive volumes, comparable to Huawei for our inverters.
How can agrivoltaics assist to attain France’s vitality transition objectives?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: The vitality disaster by which France has been mired previously two years has extra to do with a disaster of capability than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. France wants to enhance its electrical energy manufacturing capability within the subsequent 10 to fifteen years for 3 causes: first, we have to decarbonize the vitality combine, which continues to be 61% fossil fuels. It will embrace the electrification of utilities and the event of decarbonized vitality sources comparable to hydrogen; second, we have to change the massive nuclear capability that will probably be phased out between 2030 and 2035 ─ within the hope that these crops will function till then beneath acceptable situations when it comes to price and availability; and at last, since we wish to re-industrialize the nation, photo voltaic vitality ─ as the most affordable, best to deploy, and most accepted supply of vitality ─ is the most effective reply to complement our historic nuclear fleet.
In France, the regulation to speed up renewable vitality manufacturing on March 10, 2023, supplies a framework for photovoltaic installations on agricultural land. How does this transformation for the trade?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: Though not good, this regulation has a double worth. That is the primary regulation devoted to renewable vitality, which reveals the need to speed up. It additionally supplies a transparent and binding framework for what agrivoltaics is and ought to be: the coexistence of two actions, with photo voltaic vitality manufacturing that gives advantages to agriculture that aren’t solely monetary. Now now we have to attend for the applying orders to make sure that these necessities are efficient!
What are the milestones you purpose to attain within the coming years?
Bertrand Drouot L’Hermine: On the technical degree, our improvements at the moment are mature and validated. We’re dedicated to creating extra pilot initiatives with the most effective technical companions, agricultural chambers, cooperatives comparable to Dijon Céréales, INRAE (the Nationwide Institute for Agricultural Analysis), the Purpan agronomy faculty, or the Institut de l’Elevage, to display the providers offered by our options. Then again, we’re creating our options extra broadly all through the nation. TSE is the photo voltaic vitality producer with the strongest territorial granularity. We do initiatives all over the place in France.
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