02/02/2023 - 13:37
AgroPV’s Potential Opportunities and Challenges In A Mediterranean Developing Country Setting: A Farmer’s Perspective
Seven Ağır, Pınar Derin Güre and Bilge Şentürk
Adopting agrophotovoltaic (AgroPV) systems involves many challenges, not only technical issues but also social and institutional challenges underlying insufficient social acceptance and institutional support. Using semi-structured interviews with the pioneer farmers, we explore the social and institutional challenges that may arise in implementing AgroPV systems in a developing country context—Turkiye—where there is currently no legislation on AgroPV. Still, the synergistic impact of AgroPV is highly probably due to climatic conditions in the Mediterranean setting. The pioneer farmers exhibit a highly positive attitude towards AgroPV systems reflecting that they recognize and highly value this synergistic potential. In particular, they are perceptive about how they may use AgroPV techniques to solve local problems, including those exacerbated by input dependency and climate change, beyond an abstract (economic or financial) opportunity dimension. In other words, there is a strong motivational drive for AgroPV given the challenges in Turkish agriculture; however, the weak institutional setting may channel farmers away from its adoption. Our interviews reveal that the institutional setting undermines predictability, which is vital in farmers’ willingness and ability to participate in long-term, capital-intensive projects such as Agrivoltaics. Bureaucracy’s distrust of potential investors, probably caused by low procedural capacity, seems to have bred a negative official attitude towards ‘dual-use’ innovations. This problem, in return, explains farmers’ negative experiences, such as red tape in receiving licenses and permits, contributing to their doubts about sustained government support. Understanding this institutional setting is crucial for overcoming the bias towards developed countries in the literature and providing a more informed perspective before further legislative changes.