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The Fusion of Agriculture and Solar Energy: A Disruptive Approach to Sustainable Farming

Imagine a world where the power of the sun not only nurtures crops but simultaneously generates clean, renewable energy. Welcome to the realm of Agro-Photovoltaics (APV), a groundbreaking concept that combines agriculture and solar panels to innovate farming practices. By installing solar panels above crops, APV maximises land use efficiency, enhances crop productivity, and harnesses the power of the sun to meet our energy needs. In this article, we will delve into the world of APV, exploring its applications, market trends, benefits, and future prospects.

Let’s start by understanding the essence of APV

The core idea behind it is to cultivate crops beneath solar panels, utilising the shade provided by the panels to regulate temperature, reduce water loss, and create a favourable microclimate for plant growth. By harnessing the sun’s energy and generating electricity while growing crops, APV offers a holistic and sustainable solution. This innovative approach eliminates the need for additional land use, making it a highly efficient and environmentally friendly method of food and energy production.

A recent study conducted by McKinsey showed that for Italy to achieve a 63GW increase in solar power capacity by 2040, it would need to utilize up to 85% of its available land. To address the limitations on solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, a potential solution suggested is the implementation of APV, allowing for a shared use of land for both crops and solar energy generation.

Summary of benefits

According to detailed studies, and of course our own experiences with APV, we can define the advantages as follows:

– Increase in total revenue 

– Crops cultivated beneath the structure cause ambient air temperature reduction resulting in reduction of Solar Panel temperature and increase in Solar Panel efficiency 

– Carbon dioxide emissions are uptaken by the crops 

– When the Solar Panels are washed, the water irrigates the crops beneath which increases water efficiency. 

– Provides new jobs and increases taxes

– Reduces our dependency on fossil fuels

What’s the market like?

The market for APV is poised for rapid growth in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for renewable energy and sustainable agricultural practices. According to Allied Market Research, analysts predict that the APV market will reach a value of $9.3 billion by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% from its $3.6 billion value just a year ago. Countries like Japan and Germany have already embraced APV, while the United States, China, and India are also showing interest in this game-changing technology.

Italy, for instance, has introduced an incentive scheme to support innovative APV solutions. The Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security offers rebates of up to 40% of the initial costs for selected developers. Such initiatives highlight the increasing governmental support and investment in APV.

What are we doing?

Out of our total of 630 MWp of Solar PV projects, we are developing around 500 MWp of APV capacity in Italy . Our commitment to it reflects the growing recognition of its benefits and potential impact on the agricultural and energy sectors.

Overall, Agro-Photovoltaics (APV) is a revolutionary concept that combines agriculture and solar energy, paving the way for sustainable farming practices. By integrating solar panels above crops, APV generates clean energy, increases land use efficiency, and enhances crop productivity. With its potential to reduce water usage, provide additional income streams, and mitigate environmental impacts, APV holds great promise for a greener and more secure future. As we continue to explore and optimise this emerging technology, we say yes to embracing the power of APV in our collective efforts to build a resilient and sustainable world.

Murat Tekin

Senior Project Engineer

Murat is a PMP Certified Project Management Professional with significant demonstrated history on turn key EPC power plant construction projects. He has completed around 4300 MW of power plant constructions as well as HV transmission lines and substations.

At Hyphen, Murat is responsible on coordination of engineering works and execution of EPC projects.

Murat has masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

Dean Federman


Dean joined Hyphen in 2022 and is mainly involved with the renewables team. 

Prior to joining Hyphen, Dean established and operated the analytics function for a Fintech start-up, after doing high-impact data analysis in the gaming industry, focusing on optimizing critical business flows. 

Dean has a Bachelor of Science in Investment and Financial Risk Management from Bayes Business School.

Mirko Leo


Mirko has been involved with the RB Group since 2017, at the beginning as advisor in the acquisition of Portosole Marina and then as CFO of the company. Prior to this, Mirko worked as CFO in Invensys Plc (now Schneider Electric) and Foxboro Scada S.p.A, and as CRO in various Italian companies.
Since 2021, he has been involved in the establishment and launch of Hyphen dealing with the development and operation of renewable energy plants.

At Hyphen, Mirko is the man-on-the-ground, handling the company’s operations, accounting and budgeting.

He has a degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University in Milan and is qualified chartered accountant.

Davide Sommariva


Davide previously worked at Aletti Bank, he left his position and founded Renergetica in 2008. Since inception it has created, managed and operated PV projects globally. In 2018 Renergetica was listed on the Italian Stock Market as PV international developer. In 2020 they issued a €12 million bond fully underwritten to finance its 1GWp global pipeline development.

Amadeus Davoudi

Investor Relations

Amadeus has been involved in brokerage, fund distribution and private investments for over 25 years. He founded several fund solutions and distribution companies, where he focused on representing a select number of tailor-made investment solutions for institutional investors.

He was previously the global head of sales for Pictet, the largest Swiss privately owned bank, before which he was head of sales and distribution for other major banks such as, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse.

At Hyphen, Amadintroduces potential investors to Hyphen and handles 3rdparty funding.

Roberto Orsini


Roberto has been working as an advisor in various acquisitions, primarily in Italy. Since 2021, he has been involved in the establishment and launch of an Hyphen dealing with the development and operation of renewable energy plants. 

Roberto has held CEO positions of several Italian and International companies, including Portosole, the marina in Sanremo, Italy. Roberto started his career in Arthur Andersen, in the United States.

Jad Aridi


Jad joined the RB Group in 2021 with a particular focus on energy and renewables among many others. Prior to this, Jad worked as COO for start-up based in Beirut and as a Project Manager for Agora Group in Dubai, working to connect global companies with MENA investors/buyers.

At Hyphen, Jad provides support for various aspects of the business.

Jad attained a Bachelor of Psychology from the American University of Beirut in 2019.

Alex Chirdaris


Alex Chirdaris joined RB in 2015 and has been with the Hyphen Trading platform since inception, with a focus on trading and deal origination. Prior to joining RB, Alex worked in the value investments team at Dromeus Capital as well as at the investment bank Axia Ventures Group. 

Alex handles financial analysis and project feasibility at Hyphen. 

Alex has a degree in Economics from the University of Bristol and a masters in Finance from Imperial College London.

Uryia Dolev

Head of Business Development

Uryia is a renewable energy and power executive, with over 15 years of experience in leading global power companies. Uryia has developed and invested in power projects across a wide range of technologies, working for both large and mid-sized global IPPs like IC Power, NexifEnergy and SBE.

Uryia has a strong track record in origination, development, finance, management and M&A of power projects across South and South East Asia, USA, Europe, and the Middle East.

At Hyphen, Uryia oversees project investments and handles scaling Hyphen’s portfolio and project selection. 

Mehmet Saydam

Managing Partner

Mehmet has covered the Natural Resources Commodities in Emerging Markets for over 20 years at institutions like Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs. During this period, he led major market leading deals in oil and gas as well as metals and mining some of which he captained during the Global Financial Crisis despite all the headwinds.

Mehmet Joined Reuben Brothers in 2012 to head a distressed and Special Situations team. There, he built an important portfolio that ranged from shipping, logistics to agriculture and commodity trading, and from high end hotels to marinas.

He span off from RB at the beginning of 2022 to set Hyphen Renewables, a Renewable Development business that focuses first to the construction of Solar Farms in Italy and will later expand to Storage and Wind as well as other developed markets to position itself as a player in the Energy Transition.