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​Taking control of farm energy

Energy insights for those in the Farming Industry and the effects of Brexit on agriculture in Ireland.
20 September 2018

The National Ploughing Championships will attract close to 300,000 visitors over three full days and is a festival of country and farming life. The ploughing, exhibitions and 100s of stands showcase the best in this uniquely Irish event. We were delighted to come on board as the sponsor of the Irish Farmers Journal Breakfast Briefing on Thursday morning. It’s a great opportunity to discuss with Agri leaders some of the key issues in farming today from the fodder crisis to Brexit there are lots of issues to think about.

Whilst Brexit is in the immediate horizon in 2019, another challenge is coming in 2020 when we expect Ireland to be heavily fined for failing to reduce carbon emissions to acceptable levels over the last few years. Together with rising wholesale energy costs driven by geopolitical factors, energy costs are and will be more and more a significant cost of running a farm, especially dairy farms.

On top of this, global consumer expectations will continue to change and become more demanding. We see that demand for a carbon equivalent of ‘farmgate to fork’ type traceability is emerging as the impact of carbon is seen on global warming. Farmers and processors may be required to prove their sustainability credentials and demonstrate a reduction in carbon burned in the delivery of their product.

Within the farmgate, we see a general level of apathy or perhaps confusion in terms of energy consumption on the farm. Some farmers are investing in equipment but perhaps there is no joined-up thinking on this. There are very generous supports and grants available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) which really help, but perhaps there is a lack of knowledge in knowing what you need for your particular farm enterprise. There is little in the way of academic study and research on Farm energy which perhaps says a lot. Is apathy the biggest challenge of them all?

However, we have meet farmers who have managed to double output/herd size whilst still using the same level of energy. It is really clear that if you have control over your consumption and a plan to invest in the right equipment you can make a difference to your farm’s bottom line. At Pinergy we have a range of the latest energy solutions including Pinergy Smart Agri that enables farmers to see their energy consumption every 30 minutes, understand their normal energy use, understand their carbon footprint and understand any risks to power supply. All these are informing behavioural changes on the farm. We also advise and plan with farmers retrofits of energy-efficient technology for water heating, cooling and lighting solutions as well as supporting micro-generation solutions such as Wind and Solar PV renewable energy.

So if you would like to improve farm efficiency, take control of your energy consumption, reduce your carbon and ultimately reduce cost, you should talk to our Agri advisors in Pinergy.