Dynamic agrivoltaism: What impacts of shading on the development of yield and quality, at the vineyard and vine level? Case study on grapevine

Damien Fumeya *, Jérôme Choparda, Gerardo Lopeza, Severine Perselloa, Yassin Elamria, Benjamin Tiffon-Terradea, Jean Garcinb, Benoît Valleb, Angélique Christophec, Thierry Simonneauc, Nicolas Saurind, Arnaud Champetierd, François Bérude, Silvère Devèzee, Julien Thieryf, Jean-Christophe Payang, Francis Sourdb
aSun’Agri, Lyon, 69005, France
bSun’R Groupe, Paris, 75009, France
cUMR LEPSE, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
dUE Pech Rouge, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, Gruissan, France
eChambre d’Agriculture du Vaucluse, Orange, France
fChambre d’Agriculture des Pyrénées-Orientales, Perpignan, France
gInstitut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Pôle Rhône-Méditerranée, Rodilhan, France
* Corresponding authors. Email: [email protected]


Climate change is expected to increase the occurrence of extreme events as heat waves, drought, frosts, hailstorms, heavy rains, worldwide. Among the perennial fruit species, grapevine is already negatively impacted by these events through an increase in the sugar level of the berries (and therefore the alcoholic degree of the wine) and the level of acidity, not to mention crop losses.

Sun’R through its subsidiary Sun’Agri has developed in an ambitious R&D program, in partnership with several research organizations such as INRAE or CEA-INES and private players such as PhotoWatt or itk, started more than 13 years ago, a protection system based on dynamic agrivoltaics, consisting of photovoltaic solar panels positioned above the crop that can rotate in an angle of +/- 90° to adjust the level of shading in the vineyard. Several experiments have been defined to understand the effects of APV systems in grapevine. The experiments comprised three categories: i) experiments of grapevines cultivated in pots under several levels of shading (about 11 different shading levels) to have a better understanding about the phenological, physiological and morphological responses of vines to shade, ii) research using a dynamic APV experimental plots of 680 m2 to have a better understanding of the responses of yield and quality (berry and vine quality) to different strategies of shading in the field, and iii) large-scale APV of 4.5 ha to collect agronomical information of the APV technology at a commercial level. The three research categories have been evaluated in parallel during the years 2018-2021. In this study, a summary of the research activities and key results are presented, covering all the aspects of viticultural production under APV systems.