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Ökologischer Betrieb
© BLE, Bonn/Thomas Stephan
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics


Photovoltaic systems on agricultural land

Different agrivoltaic concepts
© ValentinValkov -, jeson -, Fly and Dive -

Photovoltaics on agricultural land: Economy of different concepts

In order to implement the energy transition, more electricity from renewable energies is needed. Photovoltaic systems on agricultural areas are becoming more and more important in this respect. In order to produce food and electricity on the same area, we are investigating new photovoltaic concepts.

Background and Objective

Due to the energy turnaround, the expansion of electricity generation in photovoltaic (PV) systems is steadily increasing. In addition to roof space, agricultural land is increasingly being used for expansion. The question arises as to how this expansion affects farms and the agricultural structure in general. To address this question, we are working on various topics in order to create a comprehensive data basis. In addition to classic PV ground-mounted systems, we are primarily looking at the feasibility and economic viability of new agri-photovoltaic concepts that combine agricultural production with electricity generation in photovoltaic systems. Various concepts for this are currently under discussion.

Our Research Questions

In order to answer the questions about photovoltaics on agricultural land, the project is divided into the following topics:

  1. Determining the status quo - How much and which land is currently occupied by PV ground-mounted systems?
  2. How do the current legal framework conditions affect the economic viability of ground-mounted PV systems?
  3. How high are the energy yields from ground-mounted PV systems compared to other renewable energies on agricultural land?
  4. How much land will be needed for ground-mounted PV systems in Germany in the future?
  5. How can PV systems and agricultural use be combined in an economically viable way in order to reduce competing uses?
  6. What are the repercussions of the increasing land requirements for PV electricity generation on the agricultural sector?


  1. Based on the Marktstammdatenregister, we evaluate the current stock of ground-mounted PV systems in Germany. In order to monitor exactly how much area is actually used for ground-mounted PV systems, we are developing a method for determining the area with the help of remote sensing data. Based on this, we use GIS analyses to determine how much agricultural land is currently being used for PV power generation and how the land was previously used.
    A first publication on this topic can be found here.
  2. In order to present the current framework conditions for the construction of ground-mounted PV systems, existing legal regulations are reviewed. The willingness to invest in ground-mounted PV systems depends to a large extent on the profitability of the systems. We analyse this on the basis of model calculations of typical plants.
    The article on this topic can be found here (German).
  3. For the energy policy assessment, we compare the area-based energy yields of different PV concepts with various bioenergy lines and wind energy.
    The study of the comparison across the electricity, heat and transport sectors can be found here (German).
    You can find a video on the topic in the fact check.
  4. In order to estimate the expected future expansion of ground-mounted PV systems on agricultural land, we evaluate the existing expansion and energy scenarios for a transformed energy system. You can find the estimate here (Gernan).
  5. Agrivoltaic systems can be a solution to reduce land use competition. We compare different agrivoltaic concepts in terms of land use and economic efficiency.
  6. From our profitability analyses and the competitiveness for land, we derive conclusions for the land market and the agricultural structure.

Links and Downloads

The dossier "Photovoltaics on agricultural land - for a rapid energy turnaround" by our President Prof. Dr. Folkhard Isermeyer can be found here (German).

An evaluation of the area potential for ground-mounted PV systems along motorways and double-track railway lines (privileged according to BauGB) can be found here


> PV electricity from the field: In harmony with or in competition with agriculture?

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Böhm J (2024) Key advantages of agrivoltaic systems in Germany - A comparison of the electricity yield of different systems. AgriVoltaics Conf Proc 2/2023:, DOI:10.52825/agripv.v2i.986

  2. 1

    Hannen P (2023) Das Solarbiotop. Energiewende-Magazin(15/2023)

  3. 2

    Kraft N, Böhm J (2023) Energie vom Acker - lohnt sich das? [Präsentation] [online]. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 06.07.2023]

  4. 3

    Böhm J (2023) Energie vom Acker: Was liefert den meisten Strom? [Blog-Beitrag] [online]. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, Transforming economies : Blog, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 24.08.2023]

  5. 4

    Osterburg B, Ackermann A, Böhm J, Bösch M, Dauber J, Witte T de, Elsasser P, Erasmi S, Gocht A, Hansen H, Heidecke C, Klimek S, Krämer C, Kuhnert H, Moldovan A, Nieberg H, Pahmeyer C, Plaas E, Rock J, Röder N, Söder M, Tetteh GO, Tiemeyer B, Tietz A, Wegmann J, Zinnbauer M (2023) Flächennutzung und Flächennutzungsansprüche in Deutschland. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 98 p, Thünen Working Paper 224, DOI:10.3220/WP1697436258000

  6. 5

    Böhm J (2023) Flächennutzung von PV-Freiflächenanlagen [Präsentation] [online]. In: DFNS 2023 - Dresdner Flächennutzungssymposium am 13. und 14. Juni 2023 im Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe., zu finden in <> [zitiert am 07.07.2023], DOI:10.5281/zenodo.8096042

  7. 6

    Pahmeyer C, Gocht A, Böhm J (2023) Freiflächen-PV an Autobahnen & Schienen in Deutschland (200m BGBl 2023) [interaktives Dokument] [online]. Observable, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 06.07.2023]

  8. 7

    Böhm J (2023) Photovoltaik und Wind deutlich flächeneffizienter als Biogas : Thünen Studie. Agra Europe (Bonn) 64(19):8-9

  9. 8

    Böhm J (2023) Vergleich der Flächenenergieerträge verschiedener erneuerbarer Energien auf landwirtschaftlichen Flächen - für Strom, Wärme und Verkehr. Ber Landwirtsch 101(1), DOI:10.12767/buel.v101i1.462

  10. 9

    Böhm J, Preuße T (2023) Welche Zukunft hat Agri-PV? [Interview]. DLG Mitt(5, SH. Energie vom Betrieb):16-17

  11. 10

    Kokenbrink A (2023) Wenn Landwirte ihren Acker für einen Solarpark hergeben [online]. FAZ, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 18.09.2023]

  12. 11

    Böhm J (2023) Wie viel Strom kann mit erneuerbaren Energien auf einem Hektar erzeugt werden? [Infografik] [online]. Bonn: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 06.07.2023]

  13. 12

    Böhm J, Tietz A (2022) Abschätzung des zukünftigen Flächenbedarfs von Photovoltaik-Freiflächenanlagen. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 22 p, Thünen Working Paper 204, DOI:10.3220/WP1669630417000

  14. 13

    Böhm J (2022) Die Konflikte entschärfen. DLG Mitt(4):14-17

  15. 14

    Böhm J (2022) Freiflächen-Solaranlagen: Kosten unter der Lupe [online]. Bayer Landwirtsch Wochenbl, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 06.07.2023]

  16. 15

    Böhm J, Witte T de, Michaud C (2022) Land use prior to installation of ground-mounted photovoltaic in Germany - GIS-analysis based on MaStR and Basis-DLM. Z Energiewirtsch 46(2):147-156, DOI:10.1007/s12398-022-00325-4

  17. 16

    Böhm J (2022) Nach dem Mais nun die Solaranlagen? DLG Mitt(2):80-81

  18. 17

    Böhm J, Witte T de, Plaas E (2022) PV-Freiflächenanlagen: Rahmenbedingungen und Wirtschaftlichkeit. Ber Landwirtsch 100(2), DOI:10.12767/buel.v100i2.421

  19. 18

    Zinke O, Böhm J, Tietz A (2022) Solaranlagen auf Ackerland: Flächenfraß und explodierende Pachtpreise? [online] Agrarheute, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 06.07.2023]

  20. 19

    Böhm J (2022) Wert von Agrarflächen kann sich durch PV-Freiflächenanlagen vervielfachen. Agra Europe (Bonn) 63(20):20

  21. 20

    Böhm J (2022) Wie viele landwirtschaftlichen Flächen sind bereits durch PV-Freiflächenanlagen aus der Produktion genommen? DLG Mitt(04.01.2022):1-5

  22. 21

    Böhm J (2022) Wirtschaftlichkeit von PV-Freiflächenanlagen kein Selbstläufer. Agra Europe (Bonn) 63(36):20-21

  23. 22

    Trommsdorff M, Berwind M, Schwenke J, Kammann C, Stoll M, Kärtner T, Hannus V, Müller K, Schurr U, Meier M, Pataczek L, Schweiger A, Wydra K, Heintze G, Eisel D, Feistel U, Wild K, Böhm J, Gerhards C, Schneider J, et al (2021) Begleitforschung im Forschungsnetzwerk erneuerbare Energien - Photovoltaik : Themensteckbrief der Arbeitsgruppe Agri-Photovoltaik. 20 p

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