- Forschungszentrum Jülich, SERIS, Southwest Petroleum University and Sun Yat-sen University recently held the 1st IPV workshop virtually
- Participants stressed on benefits IPV offers to speed up the global transition to decarbonization by including PV into various applications
- Policymakers need to take IPV seriously which would expand the technology, while ensuring dual use of land and resources
The recent Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report hailed solar PV technology as the leading clean energy solution for the world to bring down carbon emissions by 2030, and to aid in the process integrated PV (IPV) in the form of agri PV (APV), vehicle integrated PV (VIPV), building integrated PV (BIPV), floating PV (FPV), are critical means to get there.
In specific terms, as solar industry veteran Pierre Verlinden stated during an IPV workshop, to realize a real net zero emission transition the world needs to install about 7 KW of PV per capita which would translate to about 70 TW by 2050. Things can speed up with the help of expansion of IPV applications and dual land use.
Founder and Managing Director of Amrock Pty Ltd, Verlinden was speaking at the 1st International IPV workshop organized by Forschungszentrum Jülich, Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), Southwest Petroleum University and Sun Yat-sen University.
According to Verlinden, APV alone has the potential to contribute around 50 TW capacity by 2050, followed by BIPV and FPV another 40 GW each, urban PV (UPV) 3 TW and VIPV 1 TW. The share can go higher as well.
During the APV session, which yours truly had the opportunity to co-chair, presenters from Forschungszentrum Jülich, Insolight, TNO and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) offered various insights into what measures can be put in place to enable efficient use of land, both for agricultural use as well as for power generation.
APV comes with the promise of enhancing food production providing shade through the panels, protecting crops from hail and storms, while also reducing water use, and of course providing clean, secure and affordable solar electricity. At the same time, it is an additional revenue generator for the farmers or the landowners.
Customized solutions in terms of semi-transparent, lightweight modules as Insolight prepares, are being worked upon. On the field research is ongoing regarding how APV benefits specific crop varieties. Further results can show how it can expand on a mass scale, while benefitting agricultural activity.
Like APV, FPV too optimize land use by eliminating the use of land to a bare minimum along with offering co-location benefit with say a hydropower plant.
Even VIPV can go a long way in decarbonizing the transport industry. Realizing its importance, several manufacturers are already working on not just electric vehicles (EV) but also integrated PV vehicles to make the shift real.
Further, stressing on urgent action on part of decision makers to take IPV applications serously, Professor Eicke Weber, the co-chairman of European Solar Manufacturing Council suggested that to ensure various solar markets set up their own local supply chain, having a CO2 footprint adjustment mechanism should work. It would encourage companies to produce and transport PV products locally. Such steps could save governments’ lengthy and expensive trade issues.