Energy efficiency has become a major concern for companies in all sectors, including the agri-food industry. In a context marked by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, control costs, and comply with environmental standards and regulations, agri-food industry players must take measures to optimize their energy consumption.
The use of energy monitoring technologies is essential for agri-food companies seeking to remain competitive in the market while reducing their ecological footprint. This is where Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) comes into play, collecting, processing, and interpreting vital information to derive valuable insights for governance and decision-making.
In this guide, we will explore the energy challenges faced by the agri-food industry and the possible solutions to reduce energy consumption and help agri-food companies achieve their objectives. We will also delve into how Busit AEP plays a role in optimizing, collecting, and analyzing energy consumption data to facilitate better control and cost management.
The agri-food industry plays a crucial role in ensuring food security and meeting the nutritional needs of the population. It is responsible for the production, processing, distribution, and marketing of the food we consume daily. The challenges faced by the agri-food industry are manifold and critical.
Here are some examples:
1.Ensuring food safety and quality: the agri-food industry must adhere to hygiene standards and regulations, ensure traceability, manage allergens, and control contaminants to guarantee the safety and quality of the produced food.
2. High energy costs: energy costs constitute a significant portion of the overall expenses for agri-food companies. Fluctuations in energy prices can have a significant impact on their profitability. Therefore, seeking solutions to reduce resource consumption and optimize energy efficiency is crucial to maintain the competitiveness and economic sustainability of the sector.
3. Management of organic waste and by-products: the agri-food industry generates a considerable amount of organic waste, food residues, and by-products. Effectively managing these wastes can pose energy-related challenges, as their treatment may require energy-intensive processes such as anaerobic digestion, incineration, or valorization.
4. Increasing consumer concerns about environmental issues: Consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental issues and seek more sustainable agri-food products. The industry must meet these expectations by adopting environmentally-friendly practices and technologies, including reducing their carbon footprint, promoting renewable energy sources, and adopting more sustainable production methods.
Energy efficiency in the agri-food industry contributes to reducing operating costs, improving regulatory compliance, fostering innovation, and enhancing the branding of companies. It is a key element for more sustainable and responsible production within the agri-food industry.
What are the main objectives of the agri-food industry?
1.Providing high-quality food products: this involves adhering to food safety standards, maintaining product freshness, offering diverse nutritional options, and ensuring consumer satisfaction in terms of taste and nutritional value.
2.Ensuring food safety: the agri-food industry strives to ensure the safety of the food it produces. This includes implementing rigorous measures for controlling contaminants, product traceability, food risk management, and compliance with regulations. The objective is to avoid product recalls and issues related to consumer health.
3.Ensuring environmental sustainability: this includes preserving natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responsible water management, protecting biodiversity, and promoting environmentally-friendly agricultural practices.
4.Optimizing operational efficiency: this involves adopting innovative technologies, process automation, supply chain optimization, efficient inventory management, and continuous improvement of operations.
Accelerating product development processes to address unmet needs and maximize return on investment.
Standards and Regulations
Standards establish the technical requirements to ensure the reliability of production processes in the agri-food industry, while regulations impose specific obligations on sector stakeholders to harmonize practices and ensure the quality of agri-food products.
In France, energy efficiency in the agri-food industry is regulated by several texts.
Here is an overview of the main regulations in force in France:
1.The Tertiary Decree (Decree No. 2019-771) requires companies, including those in the agri-food industry, to reduce their energy consumption in tertiary buildings. It sets energy performance objectives and obliges companies to implement actions to improve resource utilization, including periodic energy audits.
2.The decree on the energy performance of tertiary buildings (2012) stipulates that owners of tertiary buildings (including agri-food industry buildings) must carry out an energy performance diagnosis (DPE) every 10 years.
3.ISO 50001 provides a framework for implementing an energy management system in businesses. It allows for improved energy efficiency and reduced costs related to energy consumption.
4.Energy Saving Certificates (CEE) are a regulatory mechanism that requires companies to achieve energy savings. Agri-food companies can benefit from these certificates by implementing actions to reduce their energy consumption, such as installing more efficient equipment, optimizing production processes, or improving building insulation.
The agri-food industry is also subject to specific regulations regarding waste management, air quality, environmental protection, etc.
European directives also have an impact on energy efficiency within the agri-food industries.
Here are some examples:
- The European Directive on Energy Efficiency (2012/27/EU) sets a target of 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020 and requires large enterprises to carry out energy audits every 4 years. It also encourages the use of energy management systems, as part of the implementation of the ISO 50001 standard.
- The European Directive on Industrial Emissions (2010/75/EU) establishes minimum standards for the prevention and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from the agri-food industry.
- The European Directive 2009/125/EC on Eco-design sets energy performance requirements for agri-food equipment.
What types of energy consumption are measurable within the agri-food industries?
The agri-food industries consume energy throughout their processes, including production, processing, packaging, storage, and distribution of food products.
Here are some examples of measurable types of energy consumption within the agri-food industries :
- Electricity: This includes measuring electricity consumption to power production equipment, lighting systems, air conditioning systems, refrigerators, freezers, pumps, compressors, etc.
- Natural Gas: Natural gas is commonly used as an energy source for heating facilities, cooking processes, drying, and steam production.
- Fuel Oil: Some agri-food industry equipment may use fuel oil for heating, such as boilers and forced-air heating systems.
- Biomass: In pursuit of sustainability, certain agri-food facilities may utilize renewable energy sources, such as biomass, to generate heat or electricity.
- Solar Energy: Solar energy can be used to power water heating systems, photovoltaic solar panels for electricity production, or drying systems.
These various types of energy are often measured to quantify and optimize energy consumption within the agri-food industries, aiming to reduce costs and environmental impact.
And the European market?
The European agri-food industry market is one of the largest in the world.
Several factors contribute to the growth of the agri-food industry market in Europe, including:
1.Increasing food demand due to the continuous growth of the European population. Economic progress and improved living standards have led to a higher demand for diverse, safe, and high-quality food products.
2. Changing dietary habits, with a preference for healthier, organic, natural, and sustainable foods. The demand for specialized food products, such as gluten-free, vegan, or fair trade items, is on the rise.
3. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), which can be utilized to monitor energy consumption, minimize its impact on the environment, and optimize production processes.
4. Advancements in data analytics technologies using platforms like Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP), which aids in detecting trends and anomalies, enabling decision-makers and operational personnel in the agri-food industry to make corrective, preventive, and production process monitoring decisions.
5. Stringent European standards and regulations concerning food safety, labeling, hygiene, and traceability. These ensure the quality and safety of food products, enhancing consumer trust and fostering the growth of the agri-food industry.
6. The development of sustainable agriculture influencing the agri-food sector. Environmentally friendly agricultural practices, such as organic farming, precision agriculture, and reduced environmental footprint, are increasingly valued. The European agri-food industry responds to this demand by implementing environmentally conscious practices.
These combined factors stimulate the growth of the agri-food industry in Europe, encouraging companies to innovate, diversify their offerings, and meet consumer expectations for safe and sustainable food products.
The agri-food industry utilizes a wide range of equipment for the production of food and beverages. Some of these equipment pieces require a higher amount of energy due to their size and complexity.
Platforms like Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP) enable the analysis of valuable information derived from such types of equipment, allowing decision-makers and operational personnel to make corrective, preventive, and production process monitoring decisions.
Here are some examples of equipment used in the agri-food industry that require a significant amount of energy:
- Grinders, mixers, choppers, blenders, extruders, and industrial ovens require substantial energy consumption due to heating, cooking, and cooling processes involved.
- Refrigeration and freezing systems for the preservation of perishable foods, low-temperature storage, and product quality preservation. Examples include cold rooms, freezers, or freezing tunnels, which require significant energy to maintain appropriate temperatures.
- Air conditioning systems to maintain optimal temperature and humidity conditions in production, storage, and processing spaces. Industrial air conditioning units or fans can consume a considerable amount of electrical energy.
- Drying equipment to extend the shelf life of foods. Industrial dryers, hot air dryers, belt dryers, and spray dryers are examples of equipment used in the agri-food industry that consume a significant amount of energy to evaporate moisture from food products.
- Pumping systems used for the transfer of liquids, suspensions, or food pastes through various production stages. Similarly, ventilation systems are required to maintain adequate airflow in workspaces and storage areas. Both are energy-intensive due to power needs for fluid or air movement.
- Building lighting systems necessary for employee safety and comfort.
Optimizing the energy consumption of these equipment items is a key objective for the agri-food industry to reduce costs and improve overall production efficiency.
Busit Smart Energy
PERFORMANCE, ECONOMY, RESPONSIBILITY AND ENERGY OPTIMIZATION
Busit Smart Energy is an energy intelligence solution designed to meet your company’s specific needs, fully customizable, offering you total control over your consumption and Web and Smartphone applications with intuitive graphical interfaces for efficient decision-making.
Thanks to its wide range of functions and services, this solution enables you to effectively monitor your resources and improve your operational performance while reducing your energy costs.
Busit Smart Energy natively integrates these components:
o A customizable energy supervision and billing solution, in Web and Smartphone applications, with flexible information flow management and graphical interfaces.
o Comprehensive reporting: generate detailed reports to monitor and analyze your energy and financial data. Reporting features enable you to visualize your performance, identify trends and opportunities for improvement. Export your reports in the format of your choice (Word, PDF, Excel) for easy sharing with internal or external stakeholders.
o Real-time notifications and alerts, to keep you informed at all times. Be immediately alerted to incidents incidents, exceeding predefined thresholds or any other anomaly. Our alert system enables you to minimize disruption and maximize team efficiency through integrated management.
The data is also:
1. Used by Busit AEP to correlate energy consumption with production states.
2. Visualized in real-time as dashboards in web and smartphone applications to facilitate remote or on-site decision-making.
Busit Smart Energy applications and reports include detailed information on data collected and analysis results. They provide information on the context of each production unit, the useful data among those collected, the analysis methods, the results, and the interventions undertaken in the event of anomaly detection or other incident.
All these processes provided by the Busit Smart Energy application enable decision-makers and operational staff to take decisions on consumption, equipment operation, necessary measures and follow-up action to optimize production.
The Energy Efficiency Plan
Here are the key steps for implementing an energy efficiency plan:
1. Conduct an initial audit of resources to identify areas where improvements can be made and establish a baseline of current consumption.
2. Define clear and measurable objectives for energy efficiency, considering the results of the initial audit and the company’s priorities.
3. Develop an action plan to achieve the energy efficiency objectives, identifying improvement measures to be implemented and establishing timelines and budgets.
4. Implement the identified improvement measures in the action plan, following procedures and industry standards in the agri-food industry.
5. Monitor and measure the results of the implementation of energy efficiency measures to assess their effectiveness and identify areas where further improvements can be made. It is important to continue monitoring energy consumption in the long term to ensure that savings are sustained.
6. Analyze the data to assess the state of structures and detect changes. This step requires the use of advanced data analysis platforms such as Busit Application Enablement Platform (Busit AEP).
7. Take corrective actions based on the results of Busit AEP’s data analysis, planning corrective measures to be implemented.
8. Communicate the consumption results (reports, dashboards, statistics, indicators, interventions, etc.) from Busit AEP and the corrective measures taken to stakeholders.