Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food devours energy

15.09.2005


Over the past thirty years, the European food industry has failed to make significant improvements in energy efficiency, says Dutch-sponsored researcher Andrea Ramírez. Her conclusion is based on an analysis of energy consumption, energy efficiency and developments in the food supply chain in 13 European countries.

Andrea Ramírez investigated the energy management of the European food sector. She found out that while production growth has increased the energy requirements of the sector by an average of 1.8 percent per year, savings in the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of product have only lead to an energy saving of 0.2 percent per year. The net balance is therefore negative.

There are a number of important reasons for the growing energy requirements in the food industry: the increased demand for feed production, a growing consumption per capita and an increase in the amount of transport – larger quantities of food have to be transported over greater distances.



Short-term success

Some sectors such as the dairy industry have, however, made important improvements in their energy efficiency. Yet these improvements have mainly been due to the concentration of the industrial production, which in the majority of cases offers limited scope for the future.

Results from this study are a source of concern. Unless significant improvements occur in the energy required per unit of product, the net energy requirements of the European food chain are set to increase. Such energy savings can be realised without harming the industry’s economic growth. However, this will require greater efforts by the industry and policy-makers to improve the energy efficiency of the sector.

This Ph.D. research was part of the programme ’Stimulating the adoption of energy-efficient technologies in small and medium sized enterprises’ financed by the NWO/SenterNovem Stimulation Programme Energy Research. This programme is a joint initiative from SenterNovem and NWO’s Division for the Social Sciences aimed at developing knowledge in the natural sciences and humanities to facilitate the transition to sustainable energy.

Andrea Ramírez’s research was funded by NWO/SenterNovem.

Andrea Ramírez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uu.nl
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht The world's most powerful acoustic tractor beam could pave the way for levitating humans
22.01.2018 | University of Bristol

nachricht Siberian scientists learned how to reduce harmful emissions from HPPs
22.01.2018 | Siberian Federal University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>