RENEWABLE ENERGY IN AGRICULTURE
FPI believes that energy is vital to human existence as it is required to meet various basic human needs ranging from food production to economic development (Oyedepo, 2012a; 2012b). Important activities that require energy inputs include:
Rural area agricultural activities (irrigation, land preparation, and fertilization, livestock rearing operations); household activities (lighting, food processing, and conservation; cooking); commercial activities (lighting, processing); community and social services (water pumping, refrigeration in health centres, lighting of communal buildings) (Babatunde et al., 2018).
Agriculture in rural areas requires intensive energy due to the following agricultural activities; water pumping for irrigation, refrigeration, drying agricultural products, livestock, and many others in order to produce food for mankind (Oyedepo, 2013). These crucial agricultural operations are, however, of serious concern to stakeholders because a balance needs to be struck technically and economically to maintain a sustainable environment. Invest in our work, work with us, let’s join hands in creating a just and sustainable world
Applications of Renewable Energy in Agriculture
Renewable energy guarantees clean energy farming by carrying out agricultural practices whilst ensuring the protection
of the environment and improving the efficiency of energy thereby saving energy and financing high costs of initial investments in renewable energy startups, lack of technical skills on installation and maintenance, lack of societal awareness on the benefits of renewable energy, and lack of incentives to encourage agriculturists, and stakeholders in the agricultural sector to participate in the use of renewable energy. These challenges can be solved effectively through partnerships between governments and the private sector and through an international collaboration between nations. FPI recommends the following:
1. The use of renewable energy sources for powering agricultural-related activities can reduce the expenditure on energy and consequently increase the overall profit of the business. Flexible and cost-effective methods by which these technologies can be adopted are important.
2. With the use of renewable energy sources to power agricultural activities, emissions to the atmosphere can be curtailed thereby reducing the contributions of agricultural-related activities to global warming. Investigations on the type of environmental-related incentives that will encourage the use of renewable energy are of importance.
3. Business-friendly legislation that encourages the adoption of renewable electricity generation in the agricultural sector
should be passed. The creation of an innovative public benefits fund to leverage private investment in renewable energy
projects benefiting the agricultural sector is also essential.
4. The installation of small-scale energy capacity within rural agricultural projects should be encouraged. It will help in
ENERGY DEMANDS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR:
In recent decades, energy demand has dramatically increased, particularly in the agricultural sector. The United Nations’ “Sustainable Energy for All” agenda spells out an interesting goal of doubling the global renewable energy mix by 2030 (Griggs et al., 2013). This transformation presents both challenges and various opportunities for the energy, water, and food sectors. Yet, research into the role of renewable energy within the water, energy, and food nexus, as well as the quantitative and qualitative knowledge on the impact of expanding renewables on these sectors, remains discrete and narrow (Bazilian et al., 2011). One of such opportunities is the adoption of renewables for farmland and grassland irrigation. However, agricultural irrigation exerts pressure related to water and energy security. This is because food and energy demand is dependent on both population growth and climate change. The principal technical bottlenecks to irrigation of farmlands are access to clean and cheap electricity as well as energy and water management in such systems. The use of renewable energy technology with appropriate management techniques can relieve the burden on the grid, reduce energy and water requirements in the agricultural sector and the cost expended on irrigation.