THE FRUIT INDUSTRY WAY TO AGRI-VOLTAIC:
CHALLANGES AND OUTLOOK
date to be communicated
c/o UNITEC (g.c.)
via Provinciale Cotignola 17, Lugo (RA)
The interest in agri-voltaic systems has never been so high in Italy. Beyond the objectives set by the Kyoto and the Paris Protocols to mitigate and overcome the effects of climate change, the energy supply difficulties following the war in Ukraine make the significant increase in energy production from renewable sources even more urgent .
At first glance, electricity production seems to be a perfectly adaptable solution for fruit growing, and numerous experiences seem to indicate a positive response from orchards in these installations. However, there are regulations, which vary on a regional scale, and which limit the adoption of these systems. Fruit growers should be aware of these constraints on the adoption of agri-voltaic systems.
From a production point of view, there is certainly no lack of positive feedback, for example in relation to the water savings that they allow. However, there are also indications of loss of yield and fruit quality, in response to the decrease in light availability and the consequent alteration of the orchard microclimate. These negative responses can be explained by taking into account the physiology of fruit growth, an aspect that almost always escapes the consideration of those who build these infrastructures.
Another very important aspect is linked to the possibility of creating “100% electric” orchards, which concerns both a new generation of electric, autonomous vehicles with enormous operational potential, but also the aspects linked to the these vehicles. This transformation, currently in its infancy, presents a further opportunity for the ecological transition of fruit growing, which should not be missed.
The conference organized by the Casa della Frutticoltura proposes a program with international and national contributions of the highest scientific level. The goal is to provide support elements for the decision of entrepreneurs whether or not to build this type of infrastructures in their orchards.