Agro photovoltaic: feasibility of synergistic system in the sugarcane bioenergy sector


  • Mario Antonio Stefani MBA USP ESALQ
  • João Felema



cogeneration, optimization of land use, renewable energy, solar energy


A feasibility analysis of the agro photovoltaic approach applied in the sugarcane energy sector is presented. A tailored architecture of photovoltaic implementation was designed to be installed above and on the same area of sugarcane plot without reduction of planted area, respecting agronomic requirements of the crop. Were analyzed mutual influences, necessary adjustments in crop handling, life cycle management, cross effects on agro-industrial costs and yields, potential savings, gains by additional electricity generation and improved economic results from synergies. The combined cross effects were applied in a
hypothetical sugar-energy plant in São Paulo, using typical figures and parameters of the 2019/2020 harvest season, based on updated sectorial reports, and using similarly typical parameters of photovoltaic plants. The greatest operational gain was due to the optimization and cost sharing with the existing electricity generation on the thermal plant drive by biomass, and the highest relative incremental cost resulted from the photovoltaic installation, adapted conveniently to the special management and handling practices required by sugarcane crop. The approach proved economically feasible, respecting crop agronomic conditions and the optimized use of the electric cogeneration
infrastructure drive by biomass. The approach resulted on a significant increase in revenues of energy cogeneration and joint economic margin. The average return on investment period was around 12 years, and 9 years using specific promoted funding lines. The main feasibility constraints and check items are related to the minimum negotiated average price of electricity, and to adapted photovoltaic architecture installation CAPEX, strongly linked to the currency exchange ratio.

Biografia do Autor

João Felema

PhD Applied Economics. Professor Agribusiness Management FUP/UnB 


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Como Citar

Stefani, M. A., & Felema, J. . (2022). Agro photovoltaic: feasibility of synergistic system in the sugarcane bioenergy sector. Quaestum, 3, 1–20.