On-farm energy generation & optimisation of crop yield

Integration of photovoltaics on agricultural land for co-optimisation of on-farm energy generation and crop yield

Degree type


Closing date

30 August 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This project will investigate how to deploy photovoltaic systems on farms to increase crop yield and soil quality while using this electricity source to lower overall farm emissions. The project aligns with the domain of regional and remote futures, specifically with sustainable communities and economies by exploring:

  • Computation of whole farm greenhouse gas emissions (baseline compared with renewable energy scenario)
  • Adaptation scenarios needed to reach net zero emissions, e.g. size of photovoltaic system, trade-offs with pasture or crop biomass production
  • Carbon price scenario modelling, i.e. when the relative value from carbon emissions associated with on-farm energy influence and change farming practices
  • The nexus between agricultural and electricity production, profitability and GHG emissions
  • Which crops and farming practices in particular can be benefited most by integration of on-farm photovoltaics

Key outcomes of the project will demonstrate how renewable energy sources can be integrated with farmland to reduce whole farm greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of farming.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Sarah Lyden


The scholarship supporting this project provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000;
  • a tuition fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from International applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Computer science

Selection Criteria

The project/scholarship is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Sarah Lyden, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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