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Transforming Australian agriculture with clean energy

A practical guide to lowering on-farm energy use and carbon emissions

This report brings the benefits of clean energy to the very well-established agriculture sector. It identifies many technologies and farming practices that can boost energy efficiency, including solar, biomass, wind and energy-storage technologies.

About this report

Transforming Australian agriculture with clean energy

September 2019

Transforming Australian agriculture with clean energy was developed by the CEFC, together with the National Farmers’ Federation.

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Agribusiness plays a critical role across the Australian economy, with a well-earned reputation for quality produce, innovative production methods and local employment opportunities – whether producing for the domestic market or extending into the highly competitive global market.

about the industry

Agriculture market drivers

  • Energy is one of the Australian agriculture sector’s fastest growing costs, with high rates of technological innovation and mechanisation driving growing demand for grid electricity and diesel fuel.
  • This energy demand contributes to the material levels of farm-based greenhouse gas emissions, both directly and indirectly.
  • There are significant opportunities for farmers to reduce energy consumption and energy-related emissions by adopting whole-of-farm approaches that incorporate sustainable farm management practices and precision agriculture technologies.

report findings

Market potential

  • Energy audits can provide a better understanding of current energy use and help prioritise energy-related investment decisions.
  • The farm sector is ideally positioned to produce renewable and alternative fuels, including solar PV, small-scale wind and bioenergy.
  • Clean energy solutions for tractors, ancillary equipment and vehicle upgrades are easily applied and can have relatively low capital expenditure.
  • Energy efficient irrigation and water management practices can improve water use through the use of technologies such as variable speed drives and solar-powered pumping.
  • On-farm buildings, processing technologies and heating and cooling equipment can be made less energy intensive through new technologies and energy efficient equipment upgrades.
  • Precision agriculture offers opportunities for improved energy efficiency and productivity.
  • Emerging technologies can help drive energy savings, from sensing to robotics and the use of autonomous vehicles.
Last updated September 2019. Agriculture, Transport, Market reports
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