Energy Consumption Optimization in Agriculture and Development Perspectives

Energy Consumption Optimization in Agriculture and Development Perspectives

Dmitry Tikhomirov, Andrey Izmailov, Yakov Lobachevsky, Anatoly Tikhomirov
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJEOE.2020100101
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In this article, indicators of energy consumption in agriculture for Russian Federation are discussed, starting from the year 1990, and their forecast values for the period up to 2030 with the analysis of the decay in the period from 1991 to 2010 and gradual growth of energy resources consumption started in 2010 and continued to the present day has been analyzed. The outlines of the strategy of rural energy base development and optimization have been considered. Demand, development, and implementation conditions of decentralized energy supply systems have been substantiated, and their features, composition, and application field have been specified. It has been shown that the major energy resource of standalone energy systems is local and renewable energy sources and of agricultural production wastes. Methods and technologies for the conversion of renewable energy sources (RES), biomass, and waste of agricultural production into heat and power have been characterized.
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The strategy of rural energy basis development comprises perspective directions and target indicators of power supply systems and facilities improvement, reduction of energy intensity of agricultural production and growth of its energy efficiency, increasing the level of living standards and labor conditions of rural population, as well as that of projected energy demand and energy carrier structure (Tikhomirov, Sventickij, Markelova, & Uhanova, 2015).

Importance of rational and effective energy provision of agricultural enterprises, sites and social services has raised, in recent years, which can be explained by expanding and enhancement of electrification, electrical mechanization and automation of technological processes, as well as by inadequate (dominating) growth of electricity tariffs compared to agricultural product prices that resulted in the increase of energy share in product cost, to a substantial extent.

Both the reliability and quality of energy supply have decreased while the frequency and duration of power and heat outages have grown for various reasons. Therefore, we are behind many developed countries, in a wide range of energy indicators. Though we have vast energy resources including both conventional and local ones their use in agriculture has not yet become well-targeted and effective.

Energy intensity of agricultural production in Russia is 2 to 2.5 times higher compared to advanced countries (Energy efficiency governance, 2013). Fuel utilization factor (FUF) does not exceed 40% (while in advanced countries FUF > 50%). Reliability of power supply is one order of magnitude lower than that in advanced countries. That is, the average number and duration of mains failures exceeds 90 hours per year (while abroad this parameter equals to only 10 h/year). Energy loss in power grid amounts to 14.5% (8.9%, in advanced countries) while that in rural heat supply networks exceeds 20% (Russian statistical yearbook, 2017). In rural areas, only 68% of farms, enterprises and residential sector are connected to gas distribution networks. The share of non-conventional and renewable energy sources in rural energy balance does not exceed 1.2% which is one order of magnitude lower compared to advanced countries (Rossiya v cifrah, 2017, Energy efficiency, 2017 and Energy Agency, 2018).

That is why the issues of rural energy basis development, as well as those of energy efficiency, estimation and forecasting energy demand of enterprises, improvement of energy supply reliability and quality, development and implementation of energy-saving technologies and equipment, wide use of centralized systems, local and renewable energy resources, have gained essential importance and relevance, today.

The major indicators of energy efficiency in agricultural production are energy intensity and the share of energy-related costs in total production cost. In terms of these indicators, national agriculture is behind that of advanced countries where energy intensity is substantially lower than in Russia. The share of energy-related expenditures in agricultural products cost has attained 30%, by 2015, and today it exceeds significantly the level of the year 1990 when it was in the range of 10% to 15% (Anisimova, 2013 and Morozov, 2011).

Relatively low energy efficiency of agricultural production and being behind advanced countries are conditioned by certain external and internal reasons comprising the following ones:

  • Harsh (cold) weather conditions;

  • Relatively low, compared to advanced countries, production efficiency in agriculture (only in the poultry breeding branch we have nearly attained the level an advanced countries);

  • Relatively low technical and organizational level of energy supply systems having the values of fuel utilization factor not higher than 40%;

  • Unsuitable implementation rate of groundbreaking systems and modern energy-efficient equipment, as well as that of decentralized energy supply systems and facilities in agriculture including those on the basis of local and renewable energy sources and wastes of agricultural production.

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