Type: Book

Energy-smart farming Efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability


Dr Ralph Sims is Emeritus Professor of Sustainable Energy and Climate Mitigation at Massey University, New Zealand. In a distinguished career spanning 50 years, Professor Sims has worked for the International Energy Agency, contributed to reports for the OECD and been Director of the Centre for Energy Research at Massey University as well as leading chapters on energy supply, transport and renewable energy integration for four IPCC reports.



Publication date:

29 March 2022

Length of book:

400 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786768353

Hardback - £150.00
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It has been estimated that around 15% of global agricultural production costs on-farm are energy-related. With heightened concerns around the sustainability of crop and livestock production, the agricultural sector must develop and invest in alternative methods of farming that recoup the same results but have a reduced environmental impact.

Energy-smart farming: Efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability reviews recent research undertaken on the ways of reducing the costs and environmental impact of on-farm energy use. The collection explores advances in improving energy efficiency on farms, the use of renewable energy technologies such as anaerobic digestion and agrivoltaics as well as how more sustainable energy use can be delivered in practice in livestock and other production systems.

Key features

  • Comprehensive assessment of global agricultural on-farm energy costs, such as lighting and ventilation systems, operation and maintenance of farm machinery, as well as water and irrigation management 
  • Explores the development of alternative, renewable energy systems, such as agrivoltaics, micro-hydro power (MHP), biomass heat technologies and anaerobic digestion for producing biogas from organic waste 
  • Considers the practical application and implementation of energy-smart farming technologies in crop and livestock production, presenting case studies on energy-smart dairy, pig and poultry farming, as well as energy-smart orchard management

What others are saying...

“The proposed content of the book is very interesting and useful as it covers topics and provides examples that contribute to global knowledge on the important – yet often overlooked - links between energy and food. The publication of the book is very timely as it is highly relevant for the pathway towards the fulfilment of the Goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement. This should be an important reference for decision makers and practitioners at the interface between the energy and food sectors. Well done!” Olivier Dubois, Senior Natural Resources Officer & Leader Energy Programme, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, FAO

Table of contents

Part 1 Efficient use of electricity, heat and fuel
1.Measuring/auditing on-farm energy use: Majeed Safa, Lincoln University, New Zealand;
2.Advances in energy-efficient lighting systems/ventilation on farms: Tom Tabler, Mississippi State University, USA;
3.Improving farm machinery operation/maintenance: Troy Jensen, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;
4.Efficient water management and irrigation on farms: Shahbaz Mushtaq, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;

Part 2 On-farm renewable energy heat and power generation
5.Renewable and energy-smart innovation: Ralph Sims, Massey University, New Zealand;
6.Assessing and modelling the costs of on-farm distributed renewable energy systems: Julio Romero, University of Vigo, Spain;
7.Developments in agrivoltaics: Stefano Amaducci, Universidad Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy;
8.On-farm biomass heat technologies: Ralph Sims, Massey University, New Zealand;

Part 3 Energy-smart farming: case studies
9.Energy-smart dairy farming: John Upton, Teagasc, Ireland;
10.Energy-smart pig/swine farming: Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota, USA;
11.Energy-smart poultry farming: Yi Liang, University of Arkansas, USA;