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Energies 2018, 11(2), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11020451

A Comprehensive Energy Analysis and Related Carbon Footprint of Dairy Farms, Part 1: Direct Energy Requirements

Department of Agricultural Science, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
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Abstract

Dairy cattle farms are continuously developing more intensive systems of management which require higher utilization of durable and not-durable inputs. These inputs are responsible of significant direct and indirect fossil energy requirements which are related to remarkable emissions of CO2. This study aims to analyze direct energy requirements and the related carbon footprint of a large population of conventional dairy farms located in the south of Italy. A detailed survey of electricity, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumptions has been carried out among on-farm activities. The results of the analyses showed an annual average fuel consumption of 40 kg per tonne of milk, while electricity accounted for 73 kWh per tonne of milk produced. Expressing the direct energy inputs as primary energy, diesel fuel results the main resource used in on-farm activities, accounting for 72% of the total fossil primary energy requirement, while electricity represents only 27%. Moreover, larger farms were able to use more efficiently the direct energy inputs and reduce the related emissions of carbon dioxide per unit of milk produced, since the milk yield increases with the herd size. The global average farm emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent, due to all direct energy usages, accounted for 156 kg CO2-eq per tonne of Fat and Protein Corrected Milk (FPCM), while farms that raise more than 200 heads emitted 36% less than the average value. In this two-part series, the total energy demand (Part 1 + Part 2) per farm is mainly due to agricultural inputs and fuel consumption, which have the largest quota of the annual requirements for each milk yield class. These results also showed that large size farms held lower CO2-eq emissions when referred to the mass of milk produced. View Full-Text
Keywords: diesel fuel; electricity; milk; greenhouse gas (GHG); Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) diesel fuel; electricity; milk; greenhouse gas (GHG); Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
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Todde, G.; Murgia, L.; Caria, M.; Pazzona, A. A Comprehensive Energy Analysis and Related Carbon Footprint of Dairy Farms, Part 1: Direct Energy Requirements. Energies 2018, 11, 451.

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