Agrivoltaic Systems: Potential Opportunities for South Africa

A GIS Analysis




Agrivoltaics, Geographic Information System, Grazing, Maize, Fruit


South Africa has seen a drastic uptake of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with an increasing number of solar farms over the last decade. From an available land perspective, there is also much potential to significantly expand the generation capacity, when compared to the rest of the world. More than 80% of the land area has a solar resource greater than 1600 kWh/m2/yr. Over 79% of the land is used for agricultural purposes, yet only 22.5% of the installed PV capacity is in the agricultural sector. This highlights the potential of dual land usage with agrivoltaic systems. This paper investigates the opportunities to develop such systems by considering agricultural production in South Africa that may be suitable – to pave the way forward for the implementation of appropriate agrivoltaic systems in the country. A Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis was undertaken, considering the solar resource and land with a slope of less than 2 degree – to minimise construction costs. Current large-scale solar projects in South Africa indicate that at least 0.6 GWh of electricity can be generated annually per hectare. The current total capacity (of all sources) generated around 237 TWh of electricity in 2022. To generate an equal amount of electricity with agrivoltaic systems would then (roughly) require less than 400 thousand hectares of agricultural land; or less than 2% of the available land suitable for agrivoltaic systems (depending on the designed panel density). Further site-specific techno-economic analyses are underway to provide greater insight into the potential opportunities for South Africa.


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How to Cite

Brent, A., Chapman, N., & de Kock, I. (2024). Agrivoltaic Systems: Potential Opportunities for South Africa: A GIS Analysis. AgriVoltaics Conference Proceedings, 2.

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Potential for World Economy and Ecosystems