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Making the agricultural sector more sustainable

Knowledge base Making the agricultural sector more sustainable

As a farmer, you often have a large area of land, stables, or greenhouses. Naturally, this also means high energy consumption. Farmers often have a lot to do with government laws and regulations. For example, the Energy Saving Obligation already applies and the nitrogen policy is also a hot topic. But what can you do yourself, out of your own conviction around sustainability? What changes can you apply yourself to run a sustainable agricultural business? Have you thought about a solar roof?

Orienting to sustainability

According to Milieucentraal, CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas, responsible for more than half of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Despite this knowledge, farms have recently been heavily criticized for their high nitrogen emissions. Agriculture and animal husbandry in particular came under scrutiny. In addition to measures to reduce nitrogen emissions, agricultural businesses can also contribute to sustainability in other ways. In part, this is already required by the Activities Decree on Environmental Management. This requires companies and institutions to implement energy-saving measures with a payback period of 5 years or less. These mandatory measures can be found on the Rvo website. 

Generating your own energy

Although reducing CO2 is not part of the government's nitrogen approach, it is very important in becoming more sustainable. Agricultural companies can also play an important role in this. A good way to contribute to this is a solar roof on your farm. In this way you can generate sustainable energy which you can use for your farm. 

Novar Novar
Being self-sufficient is important to me. Also in my energy needs.
Jarno Schroten | Dairy farmer, Dalfsen
Novar Novar

Unfortunately, renewable energy such as solar or wind power does not count as an energy-saving measure (from the Energy Conservation Obligation). This involves preventing or reducing energy consumption. For example, applying energy-saving techniques, such as insulating the building or applying LED lighting. It concerns measures that reduce the consumption of kWh electricity and/or m3 natural gas.

Why choose a solar roof?

Simple, you contribute to making the Netherlands more sustainable, reducing CO2 emissions, producing renewable energy, and perhaps most importantly, you make money. When you make your roof available for solar panels, you will receive a monthly fee. When we realize the solar roof for you, it costs you no time or energy. We take it completely out of your hands. 

Financing energy saving measures and solar roof

As a farmer, it is also possible to take advantage of various subsidy schemes: 

  • The Energy investment allowance (EIA). offers interesting opportunities when you invest in assets on the Energy List. Some examples are:
    • Solar panels for electricity generation
    • Energy efficient fan
    • An LED lighting system
    • Cold or heat recovery system from ventilation air at livestock buildings
  • SDE++ subsidy: For farmers, the government makes attractive subsidies available for generating sustainable and renewable energy. For large projects, such as installing a solar roof, you can apply for the SDE++ subsidy. The subsidy amount is the gap between the market price of fossil energy and the cost price of renewable energy. Without SDE++ subsidy, a large-scale investment in solar energy is impossible.

Getting started with sustainability?

Although solar panels are not currently mandatory within the agricultural sector, it is a good idea to invest early. The agricultural sector is constantly subject to legislation. For (unheated) buildings for which there are no or fewer energy performance requirements yet, something is going to change. An amendment to the Building Works and Living Environment Decree (Bbl) is currently being worked on. It is likely that after 2021 municipalities will have the opportunity to make the application of solar panels mandatory in certain situations. 

Have you already started to make your farm more sustainable? Chances are you have already taken some measures or are looking to expand. It is essential to keep investing in making your farm more sustainable. Not only for the benefits in terms of image and finances, but also for a better future of the planet. Together we can work to reduce CO2 emissions and increase green energy.

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