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European Farmers and Foresters Involved for Contributing to an Intelligent Energy Network towards the Target of 20% reduction in fuel consumption (EFFICIENT20)

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EFFICIENT20 sought to encourage farmers and foresters to contribute to the target set by the European Union of 20% energy savings compared to the projections by 2020. The focus was put on fuel oil used in farming machinery, which represent more than 50% of the energy consumed in agriculture. The project undertook actions at local level in nine countries: (1) Data collection on fuel consumption from field tests in order to understand current fuel usage. (2) Setting up pilot groups of farmers and foresters who will commit to monitor and reduce their fuel consumption by 20% during the project. (3) Undertook surveys to improve our knowledge about how farmers and foresters understand and use their machinery and fuel consumption monitoring devices. These three local actions allowed the partners sharing their knowledge about fuel consumption in agriculture, eco-driving techniques, and the impact of machinery and farming practises on fuel consumption. Thus, they developed common methods and guidelines.

Results

  • 82 comparison tests run for soil tillage show an average saving of 15% in fuel/ha. 16 comparison tests run for transport show an average saving of 20% in fuel/ha
  • An online database with field tests results on fuel use before and after the implementation of fuel savings measures.
  • Teaching modules, presentations and handbooks on fuel saving measures in agriculture and forestry.
  • 397 contacts, 61 active Associated Members implementing fuel saving measures and disseminating the project’s results
  • EFFICIENT20 has been promoted at 99 events throughout Europe
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Lessons learned

  • Eco driving sessions have been an important moment in the life of the pilot groups, which found a lot a motivation and ideas to test new fuel saving solutions. Moreover it was crucial to have fuel monitoring devices in the cabin of the tractor. The first reaction of many drivers was "when I have the consumption displayed, I ease up on the gas pedal".
  • It is possible to save fuel AND time. Many farmers were afraid that saving fuel would lead to decreased working speed. Many tests showed that it is possible to save fuel and time at the same time. The maintenance operations are really important, for example to avoid loss of power due to clogged filters, or to have correctly adjusted settings.
  • New functionalities in tractors allow monitoring fuel consumption with onboard computer in most recent models. Precise management of gearbox allows optimizing fuel consumption. Information about fuel savings exist in tractors users’ guides but are not easy to find.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Association d'Initiatives Locales pour l'Energie et l'Environnement
France
Contact point: 
Name: 
Ms Sophie Merle

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In brief

Duration:
01/05/2010 to 30/04/2013
Contract number: 
IEE/09/764/SI2.558250

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