PROJET AGRIVOLTAÏQUE MULTI-PAYS (Diagnosing the feasibility of a pilot agrivoltaic technology project in West and Central Africa across 4 countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Guinea and Togo))

Diagnosing the feasibility of a pilot agrivoltaic technology project in West and Central Africa across 4 countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Guinea and Togo)

Land issues are a significant challenge in African countries due to population growth, armed conflict, climate crises, governance problems, and major infrastructure projects, such as photovoltaic power plants which often encroach on agricultural land. For instance, Senegal's Kael solar power plant displaced numerous crop fields and grazing lands. The global rise in electricity demand intensifies competition for agricultural land and leads to deforestation. Agrivoltaic systems, which combine photovoltaic energy production with agricultural activities, offer a promising solution. These systems can be integrated into existing PV installations or designed for co-production of crops and energy, enhancing land-use efficiency and providing additional income for farmers.

Agrivoltaic systems' efficiency is influenced by environmental conditions like PAR, temperature, precipitation, and soil quality, impacting agricultural yields and electricity generation. Innovations such as integrating rainwater harvesting into these systems can lower plant temperatures, reduce evaporation, and create beneficial microclimates for crops, thereby enhancing climate resilience. Although predominantly used in the North, agrivoltaics have substantial potential in the South. For example, a UN project in Mali and Gambia demonstrated the viability of such systems in the Sahel region, where sustainable water management and maximizing land use are critical. Togo, with its high solar energy potential, aims to generate 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, highlighting the strategic importance of agrivoltaics in regions reliant on agriculture.

CTCN Support

The multi-country agrivoltaic project aims to conduct a pre-feasibility study to evaluate the potential use of agrivoltaic technology in the requesting countries. This study will include several key elements:

Diagnosis and sustainability:

  • Analysis of environmental conditions such as solar radiation, agricultural dependency, water availability, rainfall, and crop types.
  • Examination of electricity access and energy sources, including laws on solar electricity generation and resale.
  • Assessment of current farming systems and crops that could benefit from agrivoltaics.
  • Evaluation of the sustainability and feasibility of agrivoltaic technologies by region and crop.

Impact and challenges:

  • Analysis of the expected impact on farmers and farming communities, including improved yields, reduced drought losses, enhanced irrigation, and post-harvest storage solutions.
  • Identification of challenges and risks, including financial, technological, institutional, and gender-related obstacles.

Business model and enabling environment:

  • Definition of an appropriate business model to make agrivoltaic technology affordable for farmers.
  • Recommendations for creating an enabling environment for technology deployment, including necessary regulations, certifications, standards, laws, and policies.

Expected Outcome

The outcome of this technical assistance will be valuable for policy development and optimizing land-use efficiency in terms of energy production, food supply, environmental impact, local economy, and sustainable societies. It will also aid in mobilizing funds to pilot agrivoltaic technologies in identified feasible areas.

Seeking Experts

The UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) invites its Network members to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to diagnose the feasibility of a pilot agrivoltaic technology project in West and Central Africa across 4 countries (DRC, Senegal, Guinea, and Togo)

Please refer to the processes and documentation available here

Deadline for submission: July 2nd, 2024 

If you are not a CTCN network member yet, you may apply here.  

Facts

Date of submission
Countries
Congo - Kinshasa
Guinea
Senegal
Togo
Objective
Adaptation
Mitigation
Phase
Review
Sectors
Agriculture

Project details

Cross-sectoral enabler
Innovation & RDD
Approach
Endogenous technologies
Request NDE
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Energies Renouvelables
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals
CTCN
CTCN
CTCN
CTCN

Key documents