AgriLink Development of renewable energy in rural areas as an alternative to traditional forms of energy - AgriLink

Development of renewable energy in rural areas as an alternative to traditional forms of energy

Poland, Radomski
Region

This case study is part of the innovation cluster “Developing new activities” (NACT). The selected focus region for the case study implementation is Radomski, Poland (NUTS 3 – PL128).

Region map

The selected focus region, Radomski, is characterized by a gradual increase in the area of cultivation of oilseeds and plants used for biofuels and for energy purposes. It is a proper place to explore what guides farmers in the selection of such crops and the development of alternative renewable energy sources.

The region is characterized by agricultural production in which the importance of commercial farms is increasing. The main branches of production are: milk production, cereal cultivation, forage plants and pig breeding. The specialization in the region is the cultivation of peppers, which accounts for 80% of the national production of this vegetable. The area of cultivation of oilseeds and plants used for biofuels and for energy purposes is gradually increasing. Due to significant changes in agriculture, the agri-food processing sector is also developing in the region. There are over 80 processing plants in the region.

Study focus

The functionality of a modern farm is closely related to the need to cover the growing demand for electricity and heat. Farmers are forced to run a rational energy economy and seek alternative sources of supply in the face of rising fuel and electricity prices.

Farms operate in the specific conditions of rural areas that constitute over 90% of Poland’s territory. The use of renewable energy sources in these areas may be an opportunity to compensate for the development of these areas. Diversification of resources in rural areas creates opportunities for innovation and the development of renewable energy sources.

Sustainable development targets include the use of distributed, low-power energy sources that produce local energy and supply it directly to households. These criteria are best met by renewable energy sources such as biomass boilers, microbiogas plants, small wind turbines, small hydropower plants, solar collectors and photovoltaic cells. The use of these technologies in agriculture enables the independent production of energy and reduces its purchase from the outside, which brings measurable financial and ecological benefits.

The development of renewable energy can become one of the most important factors for rural development. Renewable energy will increase the quality of energy in rural areas, improve supply reliability and thus stabilize the conditions for farming.

 

Full report is available here.

Partner and responsible person contact

Agricultural Advisory Center (AAC)

Mateusz Sekowski, m.sekowski@cdr.gov.pl

The Agricultural Advisory Center is a government institution subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Center is an operator that cooperates with agricultural advisory organizations, government and self-government administration institutions, professional associations, research and development units, as well as other entities working for the development of agriculture and rural areas in Poland. The purpose of current activities is the improvement of knowledge and qualifications of advisory staff as well as increase and unification of standards of services provided by advisers for farmers and other rural dwellers.

Lessons learned
1 The importance of advisors from the public sector
This case study allowed the assessment of sources of information on the implementation of innovative solutions by farmers in a given region. The analysis of the study shows that the advisors from the public sector cooperating with farmers at the regional level play a significant role in advising on innovation. The vast majority of the farmer - advisor interaction takes place in the form of 'one to one' (individual advice in person). In addition, many farmers benefit from an advisory services in the form of training sessions, workshops, and seminars, organized by local public advisors.
2 Cooperation and regular meetings
Cooperation and regular (one to one or collective) meetings help to streamline farmers' decision-making regarding the introduction of innovation on their own farm. The role of agricultural advisory in the region is significant. Public advisors are main advice providers for most of the farmers in the region, which is due to the long history of public consultancy in the region, trust in farmer-advisor relations, and the high competences demonstrated by advisors in the subject of innovation.

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