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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-10-01 - 2022-09-30

The project PA³C³ describes the potential of AgroVoltaics in Austria in the context of climate change. It focuses on the combined use of agricultural land for production of food/feed and solar electricity as countermeasure to future impacts of climate change, as well as maximization of land utilization. The coming decades will pose the challenge to meet both increasing demand of agricultural products and electricity, being complicated by changing conditions due to climate change. Expected increase of average temperature, drying trends paired with extreme precipitation events and other climatic changes force agricultural management to adapt. AgroVoltaics is a promising pathway for adaptation. The electrical output can possibly substitute the decreased output of agricultural products. Furthermore, the photovoltaic panels can have a positive effect on the plants below, e.g. reducing peak solar radiation and irrigation demand, being a countermeasure to the negative effects of climate change. The expansion of renewable energy production also has effects on environmental impacts. Beside the agrotechnical and economical challenges of changing management, a broad participation of stakeholders is crucial due to the decentralized structure of AgroVoltaics. To investigate these complex relationships, PA³C³ combines the important aspects for a successful implementation of AgroVoltaics in Austria. Serving this purpose, three scenarios are established: (1) unmodified agricultural management simulated with EPIC, (2) complete substitution of agriculture by photovoltaics simulated with PV-GIS, (3) combined land use, i.e. AgroVoltaics, investigated with life-cycle-assessment. The scenarios will be compared for the base year 2020 and 2050 under regards of projected climate impacts. Since the reliability of agricultural management is strongly dependent on local conditions, the results are resolved on a 500-meter grid over Austria, based on GIS-data such as topographic attributes, soil conditions, actual land management, weather data, etc. The acceptance of these scenarios by stakeholders will be investigated with a “serious gaming”-approach. Combining the results of all researched aspects, the potential for AgroVoltaics can be classified with a high geographical resolution.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-01-01 - 2023-12-31

Digitization in agriculture is already proceeding at a rapid pace: more and more autonomous machines are being developed and used, machine learning algorithms are being used for isolated tasks, data from sensors are being collected and remote sensing is helping in decision-making. In many cases, this digitization process is strongly driven by international companies. The aim of this project is to build up a future-oriented experimental infrastructure within the framework of Digital Experimental Farms as "Digital Twins" in order to establish research and teaching on an international level and to develop solutions that can be used as reference for the partner universities and subsequent use by other university institutions.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-06-01 - 2022-05-31

The topics of combination husbandry/running stables/grazing are currently the subject of much discussion in both organic and conventional dairy farming. The uncertainty is high - conversion solutions are expensive, must be well thought through and also require individual solutions. Stable construction companies usually do not have suitable cost-effective solutions for small businesses or cannot/do not want to serve them. There is a lot of pressure on official consulting. Even an exit from dairy farming is an issue on some farms and must be "well considered and accompanied" to safeguard the management or the farms. The project is intended to make an important contribution to supporting these small-scale farming operations in disadvantaged areas in order to maintain and further develop the multi functionality of these farms. The results of the project contribute to the economic safeguarding and modernization as well as to the improvement of animal husbandry and support the farm development in the mountain areas.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations