-Edgar Ludwig, consulting engineer for energy efficiency
Efficient use of fossil fuel and electricity will help farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the energy bill.
While fossil fuel is mainly used for the vehicle fleet, electricity is used for running equipment such as milk processing and feed processing.
Each farm is different and there is no general data available to gain sufficient understanding about their specific energy use and emission. This makes it hard for farmers to identify detailed saving opportunities and take actions.
Particularly on milk processing where there are a variety of opportunities which should be addressed. Such as:
Adequately sizing and locating equipment such as coolers, compressors and condensers.
Optimising the operation for equipment such as pumps for vacuum, milk and water.
Insulating tanks and recovering the heat from the refrigeration side to generate hot water.
Operating the lighting with energy efficient bulbs, natural lighting.
Deploying of renewable energy sources such as solar PV.
The New Zealand government and the advisory sector provide practical advice and funding to help the agriculture economy to reduce their impact on climate change.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority EECA provides a wide range of self-assessment tools to map the energy efficiency, the achievable savings and compare against other dairy farms across New Zealand. More details are provided in their web site. www.eecabusiness.govt.nz/tools/dairy-farm-energy-efficiency-tool.
The Energy Management Association New Zealand EMANZ provides a directory of specialist for conducting detailed energy surveys in accordance to industrial standards.
The outcome of such an energy survey will include:
- Analysis of current energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Analysis of the farming benchmark and tariff structure.
- A plan to measure and manage the energy users.
- A business case for each opportunity to make a decision on the investment.
- An action plan.
More details are provided on their web site www.emanz.org.nz.