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Getting Energy Reduction on Agendas in Industrial Manufacturing Operations (GERONIMO)

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The GERONIMO project centred on bringing EU SME dairy farmers into the energy equation by breaking down the time, resource and knowledge barriers that are currently blocking them from becoming more energy efficient on their farms, or from exploiting renewable energy opportunities. Based on a dynamic bottom-up approach whereby dairy farmers and their Associations/Cooperatives were mobilised and engaged, over the course of 25 months, this project built a user-centred web-based platform which provides dairy SMEs with ready access to the relevant information technology, tools and financial support to tap into on farm energy efficient practices. The portal has been widely deployed across Europe’s dairy energy farms and energy stakeholders resulting in a 1300 registered members user ship from among dairy farmers, dairy associations, energy experts, students, academics and equipment manufacturers/ services providers.

Results

  • A dynamic web portal which is rich in content and effective in stimulating the interest of dairy farmers in embracing the issue of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (RES), which will provide them with ready access to relevant information on technologies and tools which will empower them to take steps towards placing energy issues on their operational agenda, as well as directing them towards suitable funding schemes, mechanisms, grants and financial incentives in their region
  • GERONIMO SME dairy farms through the use of the web portal will have the potential to achieve average on-farm energy savings of at least 100kWh/cow/annum, which for the average EU dairy farm would translate into savings of over 1580 kWh per farm in their first year of use of the portal
  • By the end of the project it is envisaged that 20% of GERONIMO users will have commenced the implementation of some form of energy efficiency practice or measure on-farm and 10% will have started to exploit some form of RES. A further 40% will plan to do so in the near future.
  • Beyond the funding period, Dairy Associations and Cooperatives from across the enlarged Europe will be committed to continuing the work started by this initiative and GERONIMO will have gathered sufficient momentum to continue to permeate the European Dairy Industry, leading to sustained energy efficiency, uptake of RES, reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as long-term monetary savings which will strengthen the competitiveness of European dairy farmers
  • Best practice will have been extracted and documented, and it is envisaged that GERONIMO will be transferred to benefit other areas of the European agro-food industry, such as the meat supply chain, horticulture, etc.
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Lessons learned

  • Knowing the needs of the target group when it comes to spreading the word about the project. For dairy farmers, it can be difficult to attend events held in the middle of the day, as they need to be on-farm. During the project, an effective strategy was to tap into events at which dairy farmers were already going to be present.Farm Walks and visits are also effective as dairy farmers like to visit the farms of their peers and see how other farmers are operating their farms,using new technology.
  • It is vital not to underestimate the multilingual character of Europe, especially when embarking on a project that is very content based, as is the case of GERONIMO. The whole issue of languages needs to be given very careful consideration, as do regional differences that might make certain content irrelevant or of little interest to different regions of Europe.
  • In order to ensure that the project continues to have an impact beyond the funding period, serious and timely consideration needs to be given to the issue of future exploitation of the results of the project. To truly have a market and lasting impact on such an important and extensive sector at European level as the dairy farming sector, it will require more dedication and effort.The continuation and sustainability of such initiatives as GERONIMO is vital for gaining any true and lasting impact.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Iberian Productivity and Innovation Centre
Spain
Contact point: 
Name: 
Ms. Oonagh Mc Nerney
Tel: 
+34 652839215
Name: 
Oonagh Mc Nerney
Tel: 
0034 652839215

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In brief

Duration:
01/10/2007 to 30/09/2009
Contract number: 
EISAV/07/220/S12.466709

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