‘Photons farmer’ project presents energy-neutral dairy farm of the future

18 June 2013

The ‘photons farmer’ project, which was launched two years ago by Courage, the Innovation Network and the Borgman-Roeterdink dairy farm, a FrieslandCampina member farm, aims to show people what an energy-neutral dairy farm could look like in the future. Borgman-Roeterdink has been one of FrieslandCampina’s teaching farms since the beginning of this year. FrieslandCampina has been working with the farm to monitor the latest developments surrounding energy production and storage. An expert meeting was held on 13 June 2013 to encourage an exchange of experiences with experts from both the dairy farming industry and the energy sector. Also present was Professor Jacqueline Cramer, who called for more cooperation on renewable energy, a view shared by everyone at the meeting.

The Borgman-Roeterdink farm, which is a ‘photons farm’, has experience in generating energy from solar panels, solar collectors, electricity storage and innovative LED lighting. The farm also has plans to build small wind turbines. For large-scale decentralised energy production, however, local energy storage is a key prerequisite. 

Climate-neutral growth
FrieslandCampina wants to grow in a climate-neutral way and be 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2020, preferably produced by its own member dairy farmers. To encourage this, FrieslandCampina will buy green energy certificates from its member farms. As well as consuming energy more efficiently, the company is also working on measures to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. 40% of FrieslandCampina’s electricity requirement in the Netherlands is currently provided by its member dairy farmers.