We have a long track record of extending the benefits of clean energy to farmers and agribusinesses.
Agribusiness plays a critical role across the Australian economy, with a well-earned reputation for quality produce, innovative production methods and local employment opportunities – whether producing for the domestic market or extending into the highly competitive global market. This track record makes agribusinesses ideally-suited to capitalise on the growing wave of energy efficient and clean energy technology.
In 2017-18 the CEFC committed $100 million to an agricultural portfolio managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) to contribute to on-farm energy efficiency and sustainability in large-scale row cropping assets, such as wheat and other grains, and permanent crops including avocados.
A key feature of the CEFC investment is the establishment of a specialist Energy, Emissions and Efficiency Advisory Committee, 3EAC to bring together the skills of the CSIRO, MIRA and the CEFC.
3EAC will support new on-farm standards in energy efficiency and emissions reduction. Central to this will be the development of a benchmarking tool to enable the establishment of emissions and energy baselines which will allow annual improvement targets to be established. It will also develop clean energy models targeted for broader use in the farming sector.
The CEFC investment will contribute to sustainable on-farm asset management practices, with MIRA investing in farms across multiple climatic zones, production regions and end markets.
The technology-driven whole-of-farm approach will incorporate the full range of precision agriculture and other sustainable farm management practices. The goal is to achieve reduced energy intensity on a per unit of production basis and to deliver improved financial and environmental efficiency.
MIRA has begun implementing energy efficiency measures across seven property aggregations, situated in New South Wales and Western Australia, including a 14,553 hectare row cropping property, The Grange.
Clean energy solutions in agriculture
The CEFC has a long track record in extending the benefits of clean energy to individual farmers and agribusinesses through our co-financing programs. Since we began investing in 2013, $260 million in CEFC finance has supported investment in more than 870 agriculture projects to facilitate the uptake of solar PV, lower emissions farm equipment, energy efficient machinery upgrades and biomass energy-from-waste.