LIFE Coop 2020 - LIFE Coop 2020: pilot for rural smart grids through optimisation of energy use and innovative renewable biomass sources

LIFE13 ENV/ES/001513

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

Contact details:

Contact person: Fernando SARASA
Tel: 34977369511
Fax: 34977369518
Email: mestral@coopcambrils.com

Project description:


Over the past decade European agricultural cooperatives have come under increasing financial pressure due to the fall in prices for their products and rising energy costs. Diversification is necessary for survival. Agricultural cooperatives play an important role in ‘binding’ together farmers in order to ensure that they have access to markets, purchasing power, knowledge, etc. If these cooperatives were to disappear this would have a devastating effect on the rural economies of Europe, in particular Spain, where 20.6 million ha (40% of total surface) is used for agriculture. Unused natural resources (olive and fruit pits, wood, agricultural and pruning waste) are perceived more as a problem than as a potential source of renewable and sustainable income.


This main aim of LIFE Coop 2020 is to demonstrate a new sustainable business model for agricultural cooperatives. This model will be based on the creation of rural smart grids benefiting from energy efficiency and renewable energy generation measures. Agricultural cooperatives will become more competitive as a result of lower energy consumption and the onsite generation of green energy. The project actions will be carried out in the facilities of the Cambrils cooperative and on a network of participating farms.

Resource efficiency gains will be achieved by developing, testing and installing five hybrid Aeolian power devices. These will be applied to irrigation systems to improve their energy efficiency. Energy crops – such as, cardoon/Spanish artichoke thistle, giant cane, Siberian elm, triticale, eucalyptus viminalis, and opuntia ficusindica – will be tested to assess their viability using low-input production systems in arid conditions. Findings will be compared against other commercial crops and disseminated throughout the farming community.

A new bioenergy heat and power plant will be installed to reuse the waste biomass that is generated by the cooperative’s facilities. Further energy savings will be generated by a micro ‘smart grid’ that automatic controls energy demand/usage through load shedding and by adding capacity with on-site generation.

The project will demonstrate the viability of a new productive model that is expected to generate ‘green jobs’ and make useful contributions to sustainable rural development. It aims to lead to the implementation and expansion of rural smart grids in other Spanish, Greek and European agricultural regions.

Expected results:

  • Demonstration of the economic viability of a new cooperative model which implements renewable energies as an important additional source of income for its operations;
  • Savings of at least 20% on the cooperative’s electricity bill at the end of the project;
  • Savings of at least 50% on the participating farmers’ electricity bill for irrigation at the end of the project; and
  • Demonstration of a 10% lower carbon footprint of the cooperative thanks to the combined actions of the project.



Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Climate change Mitigation - Energy efficiency
Energy - Efficiency
Energy - Savings
Energy - Supply
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Waste - Waste use
Waste - Agricultural waste


greenhouse gas‚  energy supply‚  biomass energy‚  rural development‚  agricultural waste‚  renewable energy‚  Agriculture‚  energy saving‚  emission reduction

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Agrícola i Caixa Agrària i SC Cambrils SCCL
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description Agrícola i Caixa Agrària i SC Cambrils SCCL is an agricultural cooperative focused on the production, processing and distribution of farm products from the Cambrils area, south of Barcelona.
Partners Baiwind(Baiwind S.L.), Spain Econia(Econia Empresarial S.L.), Spain CERTH(CENTRE FOR RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY HELLAS), Greece Atres80(Atres80, SCP), Spain Transfer(Transfer Latin Business Consultancy, S.L.), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/001513
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2018
Total budget 2,497,960.00 €
EU contribution 1,228,480.00 €
Project location País Vasco(España) Cataluña(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page


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