Farming With New Drives Agriculture with renewable energy supply
Energy Transition does not stop at agricultural technology. The “Energy-4-Agri” research project examines scenarios in which machines on fields are to rely entirely on regeneratively generated energy. The background is a possible “decarbonisation” of agriculture. The Technische Universität Braunschweig is collaborating with the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig on a modelling project.
A complete conversion of agriculture towards the use of electrical energy would have far-reaching consequences. For example, it would have to be possible to model the entire energy demand and the above all time-dependent power flows from the German energy industry. Infrastructure, jobs in agriculture and rural areas would have to be redesigned. At the same time, it must be examined what new opportunities such a change would offer for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture. Individual and simultaneously social aspects in energy, agriculture and ecology must be taken into account – and of course the acceptance of the measures must also be considered. All these fields of research are addressed in the project “Energy-4-Agri”.
The Institut für mobile Maschinen und Nutzfahrzeuge, the Institute for High Voltage Technology and Electrical Power Systems, the Institute of Geoecology and the Institute of Psychology as well as the Institut für Designforschung of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig together with the Chamber of Agriculture of Lower Saxony are working on this rather unusual joint project.
“With these carefully selected partners, we want to deliberately work out and investigate new alternative scenarios ‘out of the box’ and with innovative methods,” says the initiator of the project, Professor Ludger Frerichs from the TU Braunschweig. Based on a detailed analysis of the energy demand in field cultivation, the prerequisites for the electrification of agricultural production systems will be investigated. Using methods such as design thinking and scenario technology, possible developments are to be worked out.
The extensive changes in the energy sector in agriculture will be evaluated with regard to their technical-economic feasibility and social acceptance as well as their ecological impact.
From the future options obtained, recommendations for action for network expansion, energy supply to farms and technology development in the agricultural sector can be derived.
The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is funding the project from the 7th Energy Research Programme via the Project Management Jülich from April 2020 for a period of 36 months with a total of 1.4 million euros (1.1 million euros pro rata for TU Braunschweig).