Are you looking for an internship? And are you a student in the field of business administration or alike? Is the energy transition not going fast enough for you? And would you like to contribute to acceleration of the energy transition? In an international team that works on wind energy, solar energy and all kinds of innovative combinations in so-called energy farms in which we combine multiple ways of creating value. Then we are looking for you! Internship We are looking for an intern to help us to realize solar farms that create multiple ways of value, by exploring feasible ways to create agrivoltaic solar farms.
In the Netherlands we are facing a big challenge to become independent from fossil fuel and meet obligations at European and national level to realise enough renewable energy. Although only a small minority opposes renewable energy it appears a big challenge to successfully develop and build solar farms in the Netherlands. Space is limited, resistance is high and spatial policy restrictive when it comes to solar farms on agricultural land. Multiple land-use is the norm according to the so-called “Zonneladder” in which the preferred order is solar PV on roofs and single land-use solar PV on agricultural land is the last resort. Combining solar farms with growing crops through agrivoltaics appears an ideal way forward to contribute to multiple value-creation. Within the Netherlands there is plenty of potential for agrivoltaics when looking at the total area in which open fruit cultivation is taking place: 20.442 hectares (urgenda.nl).
Agrivoltaics (the term agrisolar is used as well) is a way to have multiple land-use by a combination growing (soft) fruit and solar PV panels. The solar PV panels are semi-transparent or are designed/ positioned in such a way that there are somewhat larger distances in-between the panels in order for the fruits to catch in sufficient sunlight. Not every crop is suitable for agrivoltaics. Predominantly (soft) fruit is suitable.
Next to the advantage of multiple land-use by the combination of renewable energy generation and fruit production agrivoltaics have additional advantages. It can protect crops from weather (storms, hail, frost damage in spring, lower temperatures during heat) and offers a more stable micro-climate. Less pesticides are required. Working conditions improve in hot conditions. Furthermore it prevents from additional investments and work in mounting plastic/ foils; and plastic waste every 3-4 years. Also the business case can be enhanced by self-consumption of the generated electricity by the agricultural company. And it creates a sustainable appeal.
Whereas in the situation of a “traditional” ground-based solar farm an environmental permit together with a deviation from or change in the zoning plan is required. An advantage of an agrivoltaic solar farm could be that under circumstances an environmental permit together with a deviation from or change in the zoning plan may not be required. This reduces throughput time, costs and the risk of objection and appeal in the spatial procedure.
Pilot projects of agrivoltaics in the Netherlands have been taking place and first impressions are quite positive. For certain crops agricultural production did not decrease substantially, pollination was not affected negatively and the semi-transparent PV panels have proven beneficial during certain types of weather. Despite some evident advantages of agrivoltaics realising a financially feasible project is expected to be a major challenge. At this moment it is getting increasingly harder to realise a financially feasible traditional ground-based solar farm due to increasing prices of components and grid connections, rising profile and imbalance factors and strongly decreasing SDE++-subsidies. Due to even higher prices per Wattpeak (Wp) for agrivoltaics expectantly it is even harder to realise a financially feasible agrivoltaic solar farm.
To build a revenue model and a financial model for a financially feasible agrivoltaic solar farm. Research question How can an agrivoltaic solar farm be financially feasible in the Netherlands? Sub research questions
About Green Trust
Changing energy. That is our goal. We work on the transition from conventional energy to sustainable energy by realising solar and wind farms in the Netherlands and beyond. Last years we have grown to a team of 32 colleagues in Oosterbeek (the Netherlands), Serbia and Croatia. We work with a young and passionate team that, apart from working enthusiastically, likes to play ping pong and have a party. Our home base in the Netherlands is Oosterbeek, but our projects are situated throughout the Netherlands and beyond, which makes that all Green Trusters spread like green stains all over the Netherlands and beyond. Are you interested? Nice! Please send your application to Peter Schoch. And if you have any questions feel free to give him a call or send him a mail. Peter works as a project developer in wind and solar farms and has studied Management Studies (MSc) and Landscape Planning (BSc) in Wageningen. You can reach Peter at +31 (0)615481233 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you?
Green Trust is looking for an MSc student who is motivated to do an internship on this topic and has affection with the energy transition and agriculture. Preferably you have background in business administration or alike (Management, Economics and Consumer studies). Speaking Dutch is a plus, but not necessary per se. Do you recognize yourself? Then we are looking for you! Where will you be? Covid permitting you will probably be working in Oosterbeek for some part of the week (hopefully at least one day a week). Peter Schoch will be the commissioner. And you may join all kinds of interesting activities and meetings.