June 28, 2013

European food and drink industry heads towards zero fossil CO2 emissions

Campden BRI and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne are co-operating with organisations from Austria, Germany, Poland and Spain in an EU project to help the European food and beverage industry improve energy efficiency and reduce fossil carbon emissions, thus increasing competitiveness.

The project was launched in April 2013 and is co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Programme of the European Union. It mainly addresses dairies, bakeries, the meat industry, the fish industry, cereals, and animal feed, breweries and producers of fruit juice.

The project consortium will conduct 200 energy analyses in food and drink companies, looking at a company’s energy flows (especially the generation of heat and cold and their use in production processes) to determine possible measures for energy efficiency improvement, and options for using renewable energy sources – such as solar, thermal or biomass. From this group, 20 companies will be chosen for more detailed analysis, and five participants willing to implement measures within the project duration will be able to benefit from additional guidance. This is expected to lead to an actual emission reduction of 600 tons of fossil CO2 per year.

The consortium will combine technological expertise of food and drink production with knowledge on energy efficiency and renewable resources to help users identify tailor-made solutions for optimising their processes and energy supply. At the core will be a calculation tool for balancing and optimising energy and material flow, which will incorporate the calculation of primary energy use and CO2 emissions, heat integration, use of efficiency and renewable energy technologies, calculation of profitability and the assessment of suitable process technologies. These calculations will be supported by guidelines for implementation and long lasting energy management in SMEs.

The consortium will also address the question of funding mechanisms, as lack of financing is often a barrier for the uptake of innovative technologies to harness renewable energy sources or the implementation of energy efficiency measures, especially for SMEs.

Challah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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