The NWRA is proud to be a partner on the ICaRE4Farms (I4F) project. This aim of this project is to raise awareness of solar Thermal Energy (STE) in the North-West Europe region. Solar thermal energy is a renewable energy that uses sunlight to heat water. The project aims to increase use of STE in the agricultural industry across 4 agricultural sectors that require hot water to feed livestock (calves) and heat farm buildings (poultry, pigs) and greenhouses (horticulture). It may be possible to use STE in the production of milk and cheese.

In the NWE region, STE only provides 1.1% of total energy consumption and 0.25% of that in agriculture, due to the low efficiency of current systems in areas with low solar irradiance.

Through transnational cooperation, I4F will test next-generation STE systems that are up to 3 times more efficient than traditional STE systems (900 vs. 350kWh/m²). It has shown to be reliable, affordable, easy to install and long lifetime (40 years) with low maintenance requirements. It allows a 70% reduction of GHG emitted for water heating. The partners

  • will share good practices and implement the solution taking into account the features of each region and sector,
  • will install and monitor 4 pilot sites to test and demonstrate the technology,
  • and will support the deployment of other 17 flagship STE systems to improve the economic model and validate the GHG cuts.
  • The outcome of the monitoring will be fed into a feasibility assessment tool and a digital model of the STE system, including software for the farmers to manage the system. The project partners will build a transnational network of distributors and installers to roll-out STE in NWE, to lead the market uptake.

    The project ICaRE4Farms is funded by the INTERREG North West Europe 2014-2020 Program. It started on 26/09/2019 and is scheduled to end on 25/12/2022.