Farmers’ perspectives on challenges and opportunities of agrivoltaics in Turkiye: An institutional perspective


AĞIR M. S., DERİN GÜRE P., ŞENTÜRK B.

Renewable Energy, vol.212, pp.35-49, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 212
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.renene.2023.04.137
  • Journal Name: Renewable Energy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.35-49
  • Keywords: Agriculture, Agrivoltaics, Dual land use, Energy policy, Institutions, Social acceptance, Solar energy
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Agrivoltaics is a technology aiming to combine renewable energy generation and agricultural production and, as such, has great potential to address land use conflicts. Understanding how farmers perceive the opportunities and barriers to Agrivoltaics implementation is fundamental for stakeholder participation and social acceptance. However, the research on social acceptance of Agrivoltaics technologies has primarily focused on the United States and Europe. These studies have shown that identifying factors underlying stakeholders' perceptions and the surrounding legal framework at an early stage is important for the successful and socially responsible adoption of the technology. In this first study on Turkish farmers' perspectives on Agrivoltaics, we use in-depth semi-structured interviews to explore pioneer farmers' perceptions of the opportunities and challenges in Agrivoltaics. This is also the first study investigating farmers' perspectives with an explicit focus on how they relate to the institutional setting of agricultural land use policy, which we explore by extensive desk research and interviews with the agricultural bureaucracy. The pioneer farmers exhibit an overall positive attitude towards Agrivoltaics by identifying and valuing the synergistic potential of Agrivoltaics systems. In particular, they are perceptive about how they may use Agrivoltaics to solve local problems, including those exacerbated by input dependency and climate change, beyond an abstract opportunity dimension. Despite this solid motivational drive for Agrivoltaics, however, pioneer farmers' concerns about potential bureaucratic hassle as well as shortcomings in the current legislation indicate a weak institutional setting undermining viability of Agrivoltaics implementation. Agricultural bureaucracy's distrust of potential investors and users seem to reflect a serious concern for ‘pseudo-agriculture,’ caused by both low procedural capacity and lack of institutional coordination (among regulatory institutions in Energy and Agriculture). This mistrust, in return, explains farmers' negative experiences, such as red tape in receiving licenses and permits for non-dual renewable energy applications (for agricultural purposes) under current legislative framework, contributing also to their doubts about sustained government support for future dual-use applications. Understanding this institutional setting can support policy makers' decisions on how to align renewable energy investments with agricultural need and purposes.