Renewables give agriculture a boost

Posted on 26 November 2020.

Renewables offer some great opportunities for agriculture. According to ADEME, they generate nearly 1.4 billion euros, or the equivalent of 2% of the agricultural sector's turnover.

According to an ADEME report, agriculture contributes 20% to France’s national renewable energy production. In return, renewables help farmers diversify their incomes (through the sale of electricity, for example) and they reduce their energy bills by using the power they produce themselves.

Located in southwestern France, Fermes de Figeac has diversified its primary activity as an agricultural cooperative and is now a good illustration of the virtuous link between agriculture and renewables. For more than a decade this 650 member-strong agricultural cooperative has been running collective projects - hand in hand with local farmers – that are aimed at developing the renewable energy sources present on its territory. The aim is to guarantee a regular income to farmers of all kinds and in addition create farm-based added value

The Fermes de Figeac adventure with renewables began in 2008 with the installation of 450 m² of photovoltaic panels on the roof of a garden center located five minutes from downtown Figeac. Since then, 461 farm buildings have been equipped, producing 11,180,000 kWh. A few years later, the cooperative was involved in the construction of the first citizen participation wind farm in the Lot area. Seven wind turbines with a total capacity of 14 MW saw the light of day. Today, they produce the equivalent of the electricity consumption of Greater Figeac, which has more than 40,000 inhabitants. More recently, Fermes de Figeac has launched projects for four agricultural anaerobic digestion units in four towns in the Ségala region in the southwestern Aveyron, bringing together some thirty farmers. Today, Figeac supports its members, as well as other farmers and cooperatives in the Occitanie region, in their energy transition

Find out how renewables are boosting agriculture in this image: