Taranaki Rural Energy Project
As a joint initiative between Venture Taranaki, Taranaki Regional Council, Taranaki Catchment Communities, and Federated Farmers, we are embarking on a journey to help Taranaki’s rural sector address energy efficiency, energy security, and on-farm carbon emissions.
The project comprises a farmer-led approach to solutions around:
- Supply resilience
- Energy efficient end uses
- Opportunities for renewable energy supplies – including on-farm generation
- Environmental impacts
Why it is needed
Farmers are keen to advance low emission energy options for their farms, but to capture these gains, they need help to:
- Understand how they can improve low-emission productivity
- Know the best, safe low-emission investment options
- Reduce early adopter financial risks
- Improve regional energy resilience on farms
Programme Focus Areas
Education - Close the information gaps that farmers currently face and support the rollout of cost-effective, technically feasible, and readily available solutions.
Energy Data - Work with partners to develop data systems which enable farmers to make the required energy-related investment decisions to support the project goals
On-farm energy generation and renewables - Identify resource capacities (eg., river flows) and feasible technologies and develop regulatory frameworks to support:
- On-farm renewable generation opportunities; and
- Regional commercialisation of renewable options (eg., biofuels)
Low-emissions vehicles - Collaboration with partners to trial “proof of concept” and support commercialisation of emerging low-emission transport technologies
Infrastructure - Work with energy infrastructure companies and the Taranaki rural community to increase supply resilience and support transitions to new energy technologies
Communications - Communications and stakeholder engagement to support project rollout
Progress to date
The group secured funding through AGMARDT to undertake a pilot trial in farmer education and advice for energy efficiency.
- Visits/audits of five Taranaki farms were undertaken, to assess energy use and provide tools and resources to help reduce emissions and improve energy resilience.
- Learnings from the above are being used as a foundation for establishing a farm energy adviser role, which could serve as a blueprint for similar programmes throughout NZ.
- Future plans also include the possibility of farm visits, events and information sharing on rural energy, supporting initiatives within the programme focus areas.