Australian Eggs is on a mission to continue to drive farmers towards carbon neutrality by delivering research and tools that will enable farmers to take more steps towards a sustainable future for Australian agriculture. Off the back of this, Australian Eggs has recently developed a solar calculator tool to show the economic and sustainable benefits of solar.
Egg farms are particularly well-suited to solar power as peak energy generation in the middle of the day matches peak demand. For this reason, Australian Eggs and renewable energy experts All Energy created the solar calculator to help egg farmers assess the feasibility of installing solar power – solar photovoltaic or solar PV – on farms. The solar calculator was built using Australian Eggs data on the energy consumption of egg farms coupled with up to date solar energy information to generate the logic behind the tool.
It works by predicting the size of the solar system required for the farm, based on the energy requirements of the farm and desired offset. It also has an inbuilt estimate of the payback period for the suggested system, using up to date information on the cost of solar systems, energy and estimated generation of solar power needed for the desired egg production.
Running a commercial egg farm requires substantial energy inputs and, with the cost of grid electricity rising significantly in recent years, solar power can often be a cheaper long-term alternative to relying on grid power for egg farms. Of the country’s 12 largest egg producers, 10 have a form of solar energy powering their farms – which is roughly 60 percent of the Australian layer flock, so the industry is heading in the right direction.
With improvements in solar panel efficiency and significant reductions in costs, there is now more opportunity for small to medium farms to install solar. It is hoped that Australian Eggs’ solar calculator tool will help more egg farmers identify options and guide their consideration around solar, enabling the industry to develop more sustainable farming practices, while meeting community expectations to deliver sustainably sourced produce.
The egg farming industry is already one of the most sustainable agricultural sectors in Australia, and the solar calculator is one way they are continuing to strive towards a carbon neutral future. For more information contact Australian Eggs or visit australianeggs.org.au