LIFE13 ENV/ES/000280

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Contact details:

Contact person: José Luis BERNAL AGUSTÍN
Tel: 34976761921
Email: citior@gmail.com

Project description:


Natural areas deserve special respect for the environment. The energy used in agricultural holdings is usually obtained from two sources: the electricity grid and diesel. Both alternatives are expensive and have a high environmental impact (e.g. fossil fuels are responsible for an additional 2% of the total EU greenhouse emissions). The agricultural machinery also emits the pollutants of diesel, such as CO2, SO2, NOx, HC and particles. It is now feasible to produce the energy directly where it is needed, in a generator owned by the same user, whether it is or is not connected to the electricity grid. It is called self-consumption. Self-consumption is very different from solar farms or wind farms. We no longer talk about premiums or subsidies, but about producing the energy we need, where we need it, and in a cost-effective and competitive way.


The general objective of the project was to show that the use of renewable energy sources in the farming sector and rural industries is viable from a technical, environmental and economic perspective, using the wine industry as an example. The project also promoted the regular use of these sustainable practices, and it aimed to open the way to the replacement of diesel for hydrogen and fuel cells in the agricultural machinery.


Two renewable energy prototypes were installed at Viñas del Vero, the main winery in the Somontano region, Aragon, Spain. They have been tested over the course of a year and are still operational. The first prototype is a photovoltaic system that feeds all the energy needed for the winery’s wastewater treatment plant. It includes an innovative set of photovoltaic panels floating on the wastewater treatment pond. The second prototype is an off-grid photovoltaic system that feeds all the energy needed for a drip irrigation system in the vineyard. Due to the seasonality of irrigation, there is an excess of energy that is used to produce hydrogen by electrolysis of water. This hydrogen is used to feed an all-terrain electric vehicle that has been equipped with a fuel cell. The installation of the first of the prototypes mentioned above (the winery prototype) led to a reduction in: • Electrical consumption of 53,902 kWh per year (expected: 23,000 kWh per year); • CO2 emissions of 13,476 kg/year (expected: 5,543 kg/year); • NOx emissions of 29.21 kg/year (expected: 11.82 kg/year); • SO2 emissions of 20 kg/year (expected: 8.35 kg/year); and • Nuclear high level waste of 0.02749 kg/year. The installation of the second of the prototypes mentioned above (the vineyard prototype) led to a total reduction in: • Diesel consumption of 2,621 l/year (expected: 2,519 l/year); • CO2 emissions of 7,040 kg/year (expected: 7,028 kg/year); • SO2 and NOx emissions of 0.0524 kg/year and 76.77 kg/year; • Lubricants consumption of 48 l/year; • Noise level during system operation of 97 dB. The use of hydrogen-powered vehicle led to a reduction in: • Fuel consumption of 1,010 l/year (expected: 912 l/year); • CO2 emissions of 2,713 kg/year (expected: 2,544 kg/year); • SO2 and NOx emissions of 0.0202 kg/year and 29.58 kg/year; • Lubricants consumption of 20 l/year; • Noise level during vehicle operation of 90 dB. During the project two software tools were also designed that help users to select the most appropriate renewable energy system for their business or home. The first tool is for general and business use. It assesses the viability of the use of renewable energy generation in the wine industry and other fields. The second one is a software programme for professional use in energy engineering and technical design applications. It can successfully quantify the energy generated by a specific renewable installation as well as the hydrogen produced. There are a few areas of innovation that occurred within the project that are certainly worth mentioning. Firstly, project partners specifically designed and installed a new floating structure to support the photovoltaic panels in the irrigation basin. In addition, the way in which the advanced energy management system and the fuel cell management system were used within the project was also particularly innovative. Networking also played an important role in the project. The beneficiaries worked hard to create a network of experts from similar LIFE projects and institutions to share experience and know-how. In total, 35 LIFE projects were identified and contacted, 13 LIFE projects were visited, two round table events were held and contact was also established with five other European initiatives. The project successfully achieved a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels, the emission of pollutants (CO2, SO2, NOx and particles), as well as in nuclear waste and noise. The prototypes used have also proven the technical and economic feasibility of using renewable energy in the agricultural sector. In addition, the demonstration of the project in the wine sector is considered suitable enough that it can now be replicated on a large-scale in the agricultural sector. The wine sector, for example, is already interested in incorporating renewable energy equipment into their facilities in the future. If replication is successful it would enhance the economic revitalisation of the region in a sustainable manner by helping to control and reduce the environmental impacts of agricultural activities whilst providing new employment opportunities at the same time. Moreover, the project has opened a path towards: • The transformation of mobility and agricultural machinery, leaving petrol aside and adopting the electric traction, with energy supplied by hydrogen and fuel cells or batteries. • The energy-independent farm. By achieving its goals, the project has contributed to the implementation of EU environmental policy with regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural areas. In particular, the project helps to “promote resource efficiency and supporting the shift towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors”, one of the six EU priorities for rural development. Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Efficiency
Energy - Savings
Energy - Supply
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Industry-Production - Food and Beverages
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies


rural area‚  food production‚  greenhouse gas‚  energy supply‚  renewable energy‚  Agriculture‚  environmental awareness‚  energy saving‚  emission reduction

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Universidad de Zaragoza
Type of organisation University
Description The University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR) is one of Spain's oldest and best-known universities, with more than 33 000 students and 2 884 researchers.
Partners Viñas Vero(Viñas del Vero S.A.), Spain LITEC-CSIC(Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Spain INTERGIA(Intergia Energía Sostenible S.L.), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000280
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 31-JUL -2017
Total budget 1,562,994.00 €
EU contribution 676,265.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (Spanish version)
Publication: Layman report Informe layman
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Video link Project's video (in English) (05'32")
Video link Project's video (in French)(05'27")
Video link Project's video (in Spanish)(05'08")


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version