Our idea: We run a vertical farm and are the largest producer of microgreens on the Balearic Island (Spain). Microgreens are young vegetables, harvested in their most nutritious phase. We grow in soil as it gives the plants the most natural way of gaining the nutrition it needs to grow. Hence, nothing as nutrient or herbicides and pesticides are added. Microgreens is a superfood, however there are still limited research on their benefits and the difference of nutrient it gives depending on if they are grown in soil or in what is most common aquaponics/coco coir. The farm wants to be a part of the sustainable development that is taking part in the EU and can assist with the microgreens grown to investigate food quality, soil health and all that is related within the field of good agricultural practice.
Call we are interested in: Renewable energy incorporation in agriculture and forestry - HORIZON-CL5-2022-D3-02-07
Meeting local and seasonal energy demands in agriculture and forestry with optimum agricultural and forest waste management and use while reducing the associated emissions is essential. If not managed, agricultural waste is often burnt in the fields and forests suffer from fires, thus increasing the environmental footprint of agriculture and forests. Soil and biodiversity improvement in agriculture could also benefit from renewable energy technologies. Demonstrating incorporation of renewable energy technologies to attain heat, waste and land management needs in agricultural and forestry will contribute to increase the penetration of renewable sources in the energy system and enable transformation of the energy supply across critical energy-consuming sectors, thus accelerating the achievement of the European Green Deal and climate and energy targets for 2030 and of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while supporting the EU goals for energy independence and economic growth. Furthermore, it will support achieving the specific objective of the post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy regarding contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as sustainable energy.
Project results are expected to contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:
Promote decentralised renewable energy use and cost-efficient decentralized production of renewable energy carriers.
Reduce agriculture and forestry carbon footprint from own energy consumption and agricultural/forest waste management.
Increase sustainability and circularity in agriculture while creating positive effects on biodiversity.
Increase sustainability and circularity in forestry.
Foster regional development in rural areas.
Support farmers’ and foresters’ engagement as prosumers of renewable energy.
Proposals should demonstrate incorporation of renewable energy technologies in agriculture or forestry to meet its electricity, heat, cold, waste and land management needs. Solutions should combine innovative renewable, circular and regional value chains from different renewables and adapted storage options to de-fossilize agricultural or forest processes trans-seasonally, taking into account hybridization compatibility. They should also address one of the two options:
Transformation of agricultural or forest wastes to renewable energy carriers in situ, e.g. by modular slow pyrolysis units, using renewable energy for process energy needs. Solutions should improve the cost-effectiveness and the sustainability of agriculture or forest seasonal energy demand based on renewables.
Development of renewable-based agricultural protocols for multiple and cover cropping and/ or mixed cropping which increase carbon sequestration and soil organic matter and reduce pesticides, combined with transformation to renewable energy carriers in situ, e.g. by biogas production, in a circular approach for soil nutrients and carbon. Positive effects on soil biodiversity/soil health and soil functionality as regards increasing soil organic matter, phosphorus and other nutrients and reducing the risk on groundwater contamination from nitrogen oxides should be assessed. Solutions should improve the cost-effectiveness and the sustainability (including biodiversity) of agricultural waste and land management through valorisation of wastes and secondary crops based on renewable energy technologies.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. The effective contribution of renewable energy and agronomy disciplines is also expected.