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Direct energy use in agriculture: opportunities for reducing fossil fuel inputs - AC0401

Description
The UK government has set a target of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Furthermore, energy supplies in the UK are becomingly increasingly dependent on imported gas and oil from Europe and beyond. These two factors mean that industry in the UK is facing new challenges to identify new sustainable energy supplies and adopt low carbon technologies.

This project will quantify direct energy use in agriculture giving a breakdown of the energy use by sector and fuel type. The report will cover horticulture, arable crop storage, poultry (meat and eggs), pigs, dairy farming and other miscellaneous energy uses. The main body of the work will focus on an assessment of available technologies which may enable either reduced energy use or the use of alternative (low carbon) energy sources, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This will include modifying production practices, alternative energy sources (including waste, biomass and biogas), and energy supply and storage systems.

While low carbon solutions are ultimately required, successful technologies will also need to be both practical and cost-effective. The report will, therefore, consider a number of possible future energy scenarios and the likely impact on energy availability, cost and use. This information will then be used to assess the potential economic viability of available technologies. Other barriers to uptake, such as policy, will also be highlighted.

The project will be led by Warwick HRI and will include inputs from FEC Services Ltd. The work programme will comprise a desk study to source information from a variety of published sources and personal communication with leading industry experts. An important step in determining the validity of the review will be a stakeholders meeting to discuss and prioritise the findings of the study. Relevant UK experts will be invited to attend this event.

The objectives of the project are to:

1. Quantify direct energy use in agriculture providing a breakdown by sector and fuel type.
2. Recommend technologies that offer the best opportunities for reducing the current dependence of the agricultural sector on fossil fuels.
3. Prioritise future actions on sustainable energy use through consultation with key industry and Defra representatives.
4. Provide Defra with a prioritised action plan on activities relating to energy saving in agriculture.

The key output of the project will be a report that will serve as a reference for Defra and the agricultural industries which will highlight the most promising technologies that:
• Can give reductions in energy/production costs.
• Improve efficiency.
• Make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• Will not be affected by significant or insurmountable uptake barriers.
Objective

1. To quantify direct energy use in agriculture providing a breakdown by sector and fuel type (completed after 4 month).

2. To recommend technologies that offer the best opportunities for reducing the current dependence of the agricultural sector on fossil fuels (completed after 9 months).

3. To prioritise future actions on sustainable energy use through consultation with key industry and Defra representatives (completed after 10 months).

4. To provide Defra with a prioritised action plan on activities relating to energy saving in agriculture (completed after 12 months).

Project Documents
• Final Report : Direct energy use in agriculture: opportunites for reducing fossil fuel inputs   (542k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2007

Cost: £76,789
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Agriculture and Climate Change              
Allocated - WHRI              
Bioenergy              
Energy Demand              
Energy Efficiency              
Environmental Impacts              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change