Plan for the energy performance of agricultural exploitations
In February 2009, the French government launched a plan to improve the energy efficiency of agricultural exploitations. The plan will support the Grenelle de lEnvironment objective of having 30% of agricultural exploitations be low-energy consumption by 2013. As part of the plan six agreements have been signed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing and various public and private organisations (ADEME, GDF-Suez, EDF, the agriculture chamber APCA, Sofiprotéol, Cristal Union, federation of agricultural equipment users FNCUMA). The plan comprises eight streams: 1-Improved evaluation of energy use: The plan will enhance and improve data collection and analysis on agricultural energy use, including renewable energy production and use. 2-Implementing energy performance evaluations 3-Improving the energy efficiency of agricultural equipment 4-Improving the energy efficiency of agricultural production 5-Promoting the use of renewable energy: The plan will seek to promote the use of methane for energy production and support investment in other renewable energy equipment such as biomass heaters, hot-water heaters and driers, as well as solar PV systems. 6-Addressing special needs of overseas territories: The above activities are to be adapted for overseas territories and their crops, and will include renewable energy pilot projects and the promotion of sugar cane bagasse as an energy source. 7-Promoting research and innovation; this will involve a needs assessment, deployment activities and financial and technical support innovative activities. 8-Monitoring, reporting and communication on the plans activities, including designating responsibility and establishing the necessary institutions at both the national and regional level. Investments must be at a minimum EUR 2000 to be eligible for support. Qualifying energy-saving and renewable energy equipment qualify for investment support of 40%, to a maximum of EUR 40 000, or EUR 150 000 for a cooperative. Investment support goes up to 50% if the applicant has the status of Young Farmer. Examples of qualifying equipment include building insulation, milk pre-coolers, engine test stands, heat recovery equipment, solar water heaters, biomass heaters, heat exchangers and solar heaters. Engine test stands for tractors can benefit from investment support of up to 75%, to a maximum of EUR 250 000. For anaerobic digestion units, the maximum amount is EUR 500 000. For 2009, the plan has received funding of EUR 35 billion, of which EUR 30 billion have been allocated as part of the French governments economic stimulus plan.
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