Government gives green signal to development of agritourism

The pressure of the National Federation of Farmers Union (FNSEA) on the government is once again bearing fruit. A decree published on Tuesday April 9 is highly anticipated by this agricultural association, but also by the country’s energy companies. government newspaper, now provides a framework for the development of photovoltaic energy on agricultural land, known as “agrivoltaism”. Negotiations between the administration, energy companies, and agriculture lasted for more than a year to bring together food production and solar energy.

In fact, Legislation related to the acceleration of renewable energy Was promulgated in March 2023. It stipulates that an agrivoltaic power project must guarantee significant agricultural production and sustainable income, and provide at least one of the following services: improved agricultural efficiency, adaptation to climate change, protection from hazards or Improving animal welfare.

The decree distinguishes two approaches. Land-based photovoltaic energy, which can only be developed on land that has been barren or barren for at least ten years. These locations will be referenced by agricultural chambers using “framework documents”. And if we talk about agrovoltaism, in which agricultural production and energy production will have to be combined on the same land.

“A First Step”

The text specifies that agricultural produce must be sustained for the entire agrivoltaic installation. For example, in the case of crops, production should be at least equal to 90% of the production observed in the control plot. As for reproduction, the comparison seems more random. Furthermore, to limit the risks of low yields, a 40% land coverage rate limit has been set for agrivoltaic installations. But this rate can be modified depending on the establishment. Maintenance of agricultural production should be controlled and measured using various methods by the departmental directorates of the regions.

Finally, all agricultural projects must be submitted for consent to the Departmental Commission for the Conservation of Natural and Forest Areas. However, the decree that will establish the conditions of control and approval has not yet been published. Similarly, orders to validate technologies will have to be taken after advice from the responsible environment and energy management agency to verify their compatibility with agriculture and soils. It also remains to be clarified how the value of the power produced will be shared between project leaders, farmers and land owners.

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