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Could Photovoltaic Parks be More Profitable as an Investment Compared to Tree Crops in Mediterranean Water Scarce Regions?

Journal: Scientific Review (Vol.5, No. 7)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ; ;

Page : 124-131

Keywords : Agricultural lands; Tree cultivations; Photovoltaic park; Financial comparison; Greece;

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Food security and access to electricity are considered core elements forthedevelopment of modern societies. In some cases, energy supplies are prioritized and therefore may compete with food resources. Since 2009, the sudden increase of photovoltaic system investments in Greece and particularly in Crete, as an effort to comply with the European directives on sustainable energy sources, led tothe replacement of many fieldsof traditional agricultural cultivations (such as olive and orange trees) with photovoltaic parks.The aim of this paper is to estimate the economic benefit of the investment of photovoltaic parks on farmlands compared to the cultivation of olive and citrus crops.To this end, two different scenarios were investigated. In the first scenario, the replacement of a 1000 m2 olive grove area,located in highly productive land, witha small photovoltaic park of 25 kW was investigated. The second scenarioconsidersa much larger photovoltaic park of 100 kW which replaces an orange grove of 3500 m2 at highly productive land. It was found that in both cases,the profitability of the investment, for a time span of 20 yrs, was highly dependent on the time when the power purchase agreement was signed. As a general rule, investments made before 2013 can be characterized as profitable. After 2013, the situation became more complex and the financial success of the investments is not guaranteed.

Last modified: 2019-07-23 15:24:11