Grassland plays a key role for the food security of China because of the large number of livestock raised in those areas. Thus, grassland degradation due to climate change and overgrazing is considered as one of the most severe environmental and economic threat for the future sustainable development of China. Photovoltaic water pumping systems for irrigation can play a fundamental role for the conservation of grassland areas.This paper investigates the geospatial distribution of the technically suitable grassland locations for the implementation of photovoltaic water pumping systems. The technically suitable grassland areas were taken as starting point to assess the optimal locations. The assessment of the optimal locations was conducted using a spatially explicit optimization model of renewable energy systems based on the cost minimization of the whole forage supply chain.The results indicate that the photovoltaic water pumping systems provide high potential for improving forage productivity, contributing to meet the local demand. The optimal areas are highly sensitive to several environmental and economic parameters such as increased forage potential yield, forage management costs, forage water requirements, ground water depth, forage price and CO2 price. Most of the optimal areas are selected when the market forage price ranges from 300 to 500$/tonne DM, indicating that the forage produced using PVWP technology for irrigation is already competitive compared to the imported forage.