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RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

By Rachel Stone,2014-03-31 00:31
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This publication shows the rationale for application of renewable energy gathered from biomass, solar and wind sources to the agricultural industries in

RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR

    SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

    by

    Pavan Kumar Vummadi

    Laura Jean MacKay

    Collins Nwakanma Amanze

    A report submitted for partial fulfillment of course requirements for Engineering for a Sustainable Technosphere (EST)

    Blekinge Tekniska Högskola

    2004

    BLEKINGE TEKNISKA

    HÖGSKOLA

    ABSTRACT

    RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE

    SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

    by Pavan Kumar Vummadi, Laura Jean MacKay, Collins Nwakanma Amanze

    This publication shows the rationale for application of renewable energy gathered from biomass, solar and wind sources to the agricultural industries in Nigeria, Canada and India. The authors focus on agricultural applications of renewable energy sources, and provide the detailed sustainability analysis necessary for decision-makers and individual agricultural producers to begin to harvest some of the enormous renewable energy potential available on farms.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Executive Summary 1

    Method 2

    Introduction: Why Agriculture? 3

Results

    CANADA AND BIOMASS:

    Global Energy Context, Technical Description of Energy Production, Energy

    Balance Ratios 5

    Agricultural Context in Canada 9

    Sustainability Analysis 10

    Applications 12

    Recommendations and Policy Development 13

INDIA AND SOLAR:

    Agricultural Context in India 14

    Agricultural Practice and Energy Systems 15

    Solar and Photovoltaic Technology 16

    PV Applications for Agriculture 19

Sustainability Analysis 26

    Recommendations and Policy Development 29

NIGERIA AND WIND:

Introduction 33

Technological Description 36

Nigerian Agricultural Applications for Wind Energy 38

Sustainability Analysis 39

    Recommendations and Policy Development 41

Discussion 43

Conclusion 44

REFERENCES 46

APPENDIX

    ii

iii

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Number Page

    Fig. 1: Renewable Energy Potential and Achievements in Canada 9 Fig. 2: Renewable Energy Potential and Achievements in India 16 Fig. 3: Renewable Energy Potential and Achievements in India 34

    iv

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    We wish to thank Sophie Byggeth for her helpful suggestions and clear guidance in preparing this report. Also, we are grateful to Goran Broman for his valuable suggestions to improve our learning process.

    v

    Executive Summary

    Within the context of renewable energy potential worldwide, estimates have shown the future development of solar, wind, biomass, tidal, geo-thermal, small scale hydro, ultra-efficient fossil fuel and wave-generated power to be sufficient for current and predicted levels of human activity. The main aim of the present study is to contribute to a better understanding of the potential impact and of the limitations of renewable energyapplications on

    sustainable agriculture. The concern of the authors is the movement of the agricultural industry to sustainability, as the sole provider of human food

    s. need

    The methods used include a scan of published research, including literature review and online content review. Also useful were primary source interviews with representatives from agricultural and research organizations, and visiting lecturers to the Masters of Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability program at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola.

    Results show that biomass, solar and wind are the more appropriate sources of renewable energy available to agriculture in India, Nigeria and Canada. Based on sustainability analysis, developed by The Natural Step, potential specific applications were identified in agriculture and policy recommendations were formulated. Financial analysis formed part of the sustainability analysis.

    The authors conclude that renewable energies have a huge potential and should be promoted to farmers by way of subsidy programs to introduce the associated technologies, and will benefit all people in the movement of agriculture towards sustainability.

    Method

    Relevant data was sourced through literature review, online content review, and primary source interviews with representatives from the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (Canada), Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO-UN), Tata Energy and Research Institute (TERI) and a local Swedish farm at Skärfva. Also, material was gathered from visiting lecturers at BTH, including Lovisa Björnsson from Lund University, Thomas B. Johansson from IIIEE, and Leif Johansson from Volvo.

    Data was analyzed according to credibility of source, relevance and ease of communication. The reliability of data was assured through cross-reference, and by review of a PhD student at BTH.

    General and specific methods used in the study:

    ; Backcasting from sustainability principles used to analyze how

    agriculture could move towards sustainability, looking through a lens

    of the four system conditions developed by Natural Step.

    ; The ABCD method for sustainability planning was used to identify

    opportunities for renewable energy in sustainable agriculture.

    ; Energy Balance ratio calculations for various kinds of crops in

    production of biomass fuel this method used at Lund University

    shows the energy dividend in using cellulose based materials for

    production of biomass fuels.

    ; Sustainability Analyses

    2

    Introduction: Why Agriculture?

    Based on our individual interests and background in agriculture, we chose to investigate options for renewable energy on farms. Agriculture is a key strategic industry in the movement towards sustainability. While McDonald?s asks, Do we need hamburgers? in its struggle to define a sustainable path, we can easily answer the question, Do we need food? Healthy affordable food is a basic non-negotiable human need.

    Never on earth has food been produced on such a large scale and with such intensive use of land, to satisfy the needs of a growing global population. Agriculture worldwide contributes significantly to unsustainable levels of chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, and also to the combustion of large amounts of non-renewable fossil fuel, through farm processes, and the transportation of food from field to dinner plate.

    In our study, we looked particularly at Canada, Nigeria and India. Although there were significant differences in the comparison of each country?s agricultural practice, the same challenge in the movement to a more sustainable agriculture was consistent: reduction in fossil fuel and chemical use on farms.

    Challenges to sustainability in agriculture:

    SC1 - Heavy dependency on oil fuels to run heavy farm machinery and transportation of farm products from field to plate . Also, the extraction of phosphate from mining also brings up heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury.

    SC2 - Conventional agriculture uses chemical inputs for fertilizer and pesticides

    3

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