Berry shade tolerance for agrivoltaics systems: A meta-analysis

Marleen I. Hermelink*, Bernardo Maestrini, Frank J. de Ruijter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Agrivoltaics, i.e. the placement of photovoltaic panels above crops, can contribute to more sustainable energy and food systems. However, the current large knowledge gap on crop yield response to shade is a limiting factor to agrivoltaics development. Berries have been identified as a shade benefitting crop group with a high potential for agrivoltaics, but little is known on their individual crop shade response. We examine the berry crop group more in detail through a meta-analysis of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa), blueberry (Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus), blackberry (Rubus subg. Rubus), and black currant (Ribes nigrum), to distinguish between individual crops and assess their suitability for agrivoltaics systems. This study provides the first yield response curves of individual berry crops to increasing shade, also distinguishing between different radiation intensity environments. The response curves provide valuable information for the design of agrivoltaics systems and can help in selecting optimal crop and panel density combinations for different locations. We find that low levels of shade are relatively less detrimental to yield than high levels of shade, and that yield response differs significantly between crops and between low and high radiation intensity environments. We conclude that, although generally classified as shade-benefitting in previous literature, not all berries are equally suitable for the shaded conditions in agrivoltaics. Whereas blueberry yield at high radiation intensities can benefit from up to 50 % shade, other berry types are better classified as shade tolerant, enduring up to around 35 % shade without yield loss but declining afterwards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113062
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024


  • Agrivoltaics
  • Berries
  • Relative shade rate
  • Relative yield
  • Shade tolerance
  • Yield response curve


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