Project title: Energy self-sufficient agriculture – business management recommendations and consulting support

drone photo of farm with photovoltaic panels on the roof
(c) Michael Eder

Energy costs, particularly in the form of electricity, are playing an increasingly important economic role for agricultural businesses due to the rise in energy prices. As electricity prices will remain at a higher level in the future, but above all will become more volatile than before, the economic price risk for agricultural businesses is increasing. Security of supply has also increasingly become the focus of social discourse. Due to Austria’s high dependence on imported energy sources, this leads to an increasing risk in the security of supply.

One form of risk management can be to make operations as energy self-sufficient as possible. The possibilities for this have become more diverse due to the further development of renewable energy technologies and the investment decision for agricultural businesses is often associated with great economic uncertainty.

Aims of the project:

  • Survey of the technologies available on the market (in the field of solar power production, storage and utilisation)
  • Economic and technical evaluation of operational development paths (flexibilization measures in efficiency and load management) with regard to energy self-sufficiency
  • Survey of their acceptance among farm managers

In addition to surveys on motives for such investment decisions and attitudes towards energy self-sufficiency and risk perception, high-resolution energy simulation and business risk assessment models are being developed and applied to typical Austrian agricultural businesses. From this, an Excel tool will be developed to support the work of agricultural advisors and thus make a significant contribution to the development of more sustainable structures in agriculture.

Project coordinator: STUDIA

Project partners:

On behalf of and with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism