The initial idea for this project arose when several businesses of the target subsectors, associated to some members of this consortium, asked them for technical support to control their increasing costs in energy. Those target subsectors were ARABLE CROPS DRYING AND STORAGE (NACE 1.6), MEAT AND POULTRY (NACE 10.1), DAIRY (NACE 10.5), TRANSFORMATION OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES (NACE 10.3).
According to our experience, the introduction of most advanced but proven technologies was not sufficiently integrated on these subsectors due to the intrinsic weaknesses of this kind of industries, isolated places far from the industrial states, heterogeneously management of agricultural raw materials, temporality, and so on. The tackle of this challenge is important for both industrial sector and the rural areas where they are located. Thus, the main objective of this project has been to reduce energy consumption, by implementing cost-effective energy solutions, at a short term in a range between 10% and 15% directly in 81 businesses. But this reduction had to be achieved without any decrease in the production capacity of the companies and maintaining good socioeconomic and environmental conditions.
For reaching these objectives, the project has worked on the uptake of specific and cross-cutting innovative technologies and techniques, whose efficacy has been proven in other industrial sectors different from the agro-food sector, but which were not familiar or rarely implemented in the agro-food sector.
On the other hand, the project has pursued larger savings in the medium term with new affordable intelligent energy solutions, specifically by proving in an operational environment the “Collaborative Energy Management Systems”. This system has taken the advantages of complementarities and synergies among the analysed industrial sites having similar characteristics or proximity. These synergies have been used for improving their joint energy efficiency. For this purpose, 6 pilot industrial clusters in 5 different countries have been set up and used for assessing the improvements in their overall energy consumptions and its associated costs. The obtained data has been also used for simulating the energy performance that could be achieved by using common procedures based on the ISO 50.001 standard and supported by a specific software developed by the project.
Additionally, the overall investment and savings achieved by the project have been 83.05 GWh and 31.47 M€ invested. These figures include the savings achieved by the implementation of energy efficiency measures (57.30 GWh) and by the implementation of renewable energy systems for self-producing energy needs (25.75 GWh). Also, the mentioned overall figures included the investments carried out during project lifetime (22.75 M€) and the planned investments that will be executive in the short term (8.71 M€).
The specific information issued by the project and publicly available can be consulted in this webpage until March 2024. And for further information on the project development and its results, you can always ask to the partners of the consortium, which email is in the “Partners” section of this web.