Visual Perception and Acceptance Of Agrivoltaic In An Eye-Tracking Experiment In Germany

Iris Schröter, Niels Püttschneider, Marcus Mergenthaler


the countryside. Thus, questions of landscape aesthetics and public acceptance arise. This also applies to agrivoltaic (AV), an approach that refers to different techniques for the simultaneous use of land for agricultural purposes and photovoltaic electricity production. We tested hypotheses on the extent to which varying image content representing different types of grassland use affects the visual perception and acceptance of AV. To test our hypotheses, we conducted a between-subjects experimental study within a mixed methods approach. In our eye-tracking experiment, participants were randomly shown one of the three versions of the AV site. During this time, eye-tracking data was recorded, allowing qualitative analyses with heat maps and attention maps. Quantitative analyses included time to first fixation, fixation duration, and number of fixations in defined areas of interest (AOI) of gaze behaviour. Subsequently, participants were asked about their acceptance of the AV variant. Eye-tracking data from 29 participants were used for data analysis. The results show that additional image elements attract visual attention - statistically significant only according to some of the several quantitative indicators. Although additional image elements modulate some gaze behaviour indicators, we are not able to provide evidence that this leads to an increased acceptance of AV. In the before-and-after comparison, which considers a more comprehensive processing of information by the participants, the acceptance of AV increased significantly only for grasslands and special crops. Our results suggest that attitudes towards AV are rather stable and cannot be easily modulated by additional information. More comprehensive communication and participation strategies may be needed to avoid public conflicts about AV.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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