European Dairy Energy Award

SWEDEN - A Swedish dairy farmer is the proud winner of the first ever European Dairy Energy Award.
calendar icon 4 November 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

Mr Sven-Erik Eriksson, walked away with 1,000kg of LactivateTM milking machine cleaning solution courtesy of ECOLAB at the Fira de Girona on Friday 30 October.

The European Dairy Energy Award is part of the GERONIMO project, an EU funded initiative aimed at fostering best practices in energy efficiency among European dairy farms. John - Erik Johansson GERONIMO’s Swedish partner accepted the award on behalf of the winner Mr Eriksson which was presented by Mr Jean-Philippe Pollet of ECOLAB Lactivate™, official sponsor of the GERONIMO award this morning at the final workshop of GERONIMO. Mr Eriksson was among the many European dairy farmers who participated in this competition by submitting a detailed report of the energy use on their farms.

Mr Eriksson’s farm in Frösön, Sweden, uses natural ventilation and lighting to reduce energy use. A wood-chip burner provides heat for the farm building and the neighbouring houses. Heat is also recovered from the milk cooling system. The 120 cows on this farm are milked by two milking robots with energy efficient vacuum pumps. Mr Eriksson and his team also have ambitious plans for biogas production on their farm and have commissioned feasibility studies to JILU (Jämtlands läns Institut för Landsbygdsutveckling).

Mr Carroll, Manager of the GERONIMO project said “it is a pleasure to see that GERONIMO has fuelled change in attitudes and behaviours of dairy farmers toward efficient energy use. This award was made possible thanks to the support of Ecolab and Lactivate.” Mr Carroll also said that the success of the GERONIMO Project was due to the hard work and effort of all the consortium members.

“It is a pleasure to support such a project which empowers farmers to change the way they consume energy. Such grass roots projects encourage a lasting change in attitudes and foster innovation,” said Jean-Philippe Pollet of Ecolab, the main sponsors of this award.

The GERONIMO project, which had just finalised, was a two year long initiative aimed at raising awareness among dairy farmers about energy conservation through the European Dairy Energy Portal ( which brought together energy experts and dairy farmers.

Oonagh Mc Nerney, the Director of Iberian Productivity and Innovation Centre, and one of the instigators of the initiative says that “since its launch in November last year, this online community has steadily attracted a critical mass of dairy farming and energy stakeholders and participants, many of whom are frequent and recurring visitors to the site. We want to consolidate and build on this so that the European Dairy Energy Portal grows from strength to strength.”

Most of the almost two million dairy farms around the European Union are small and medium sized enterprises that need to be stimulated, empowered and supported to make on-farm energy saving changes on their farms. The successful collaboration of a multi-disciplinary team of experts making up the GERONIMO consortium have over the two year course of the project, produced the European Dairy Energy Portal, which has served as a source of assistance for farmers interested in making their farms and processes energy efficient and reducing costs.

Dairy farms are heavy consumers of energy, most of which is obtained from mains electricity and diesel oil. Most dairy farms also use energy-thirsty processes and equipment which can be altered to make huge savings. Such savings can be augmented by the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The European Dairy Energy Portal helps dairy farmers to access the information and the advice they need to implement energy saving changes and investments on-farm.

This portal, which is a hub for dairy farmers, professionals in energy efficiency, academics, students and other stakeholders, has been a contributor for change in energy use in dairy farms and has helped farmers embrace good practices of energy use on their premises. The portal’s success means that although the GERONIMO project has now come to an end, the portal will still remain operational.

Registration to the portal will continue to be free and simple. Registered users can exchange knowledge, information and experiences with other users. It will continue to be regularly updated with the latest information on energy and its best use on dairy farms, providing an array of information easily accessibly by dairy farmers and interested parties and broken down into clear and easily navigable sections. Tools and functionality include an online forum, a virtual trade fair where registered users can buy and sell equipment and hosts of articles and case studies.

“With a growing member base of well over 1,200 registered users, consisting of dairy farmers, energy experts, equipment providers, academics and agriculture students from all over Europe, this is a true testament to the Portal’s relevance and illustrates the usefulness of such a site for the dairy farming community,” said Oonagh Mc Nerney, director of IPIC.

The Geronimo project was partly funded by the European Union through the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. This project was coordinated by the Iberian Productivity and Innovation Centre (IPIC). The consortium behind this project is made up of the Centre de Recerca i Investigació de Catalunya, S.A., Gesund Lantbruk HB, Institut für Energiedienstleistungen GmbH., Lleters de Catalunya, Llet Nostra, Malta Industrial Innovation for SMEs, Feltalálói és Kutató Központ Szolgáltató Kft., the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers and the University of Zagreb.

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