We are very excited!
Our project “SUNfarming Food & Energy” was selected by an independent jury of experts among the TOP 3 finalists in the category Sustainable Development.
Since its founding in 2008, the GreenTec Awards have become the world’s most important environmental award. Together with more than 120 partners, they offer large and small companies the international stage to present the best projects for environmental protection.
SUNfarming Food & Energy:
Agro-solar greenhouses provide sustainable food, energy, jobs, education
SUNfarming´s unique technology makes it possible to produce economically attractive and resource-efficient food and energy at the same place. The project is providing knowledge transfer in train-the-trainer programmes for students and skills development for people from local communities.
15 agro-solar green-houses have been installed on the campus of the NWU University in South Africa. A team of experts from North-West University and SUNfarming is responsible for the running and training of agro-solar technologies and the research purposes to identify the right crops. The generated solar power is used directly by the university.
Learn more about “SUNfarming Food & Energy”
All finalists can be found online
The first Food & Energy Training Centre in South Africa is a partnership project:
Operating project partner: North-West University Potchefstroom
Co-financing project partner: KFW DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH)
Coordinator of the project: ALENSYS (Alternative Energiesysteme AG)
Another SUNfarming solar park was successfully completed in November in Roggentin in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. With a total output of 750 kWp, it supplies clean, green electricity for more than 240 households. The CO2 savings of the solar park in Roggentin amount to considerable 443.305 kg / year.
Asked: How much CO2 does a car produce?
Again and again there is talk of the climate killer CO2. The invisible gas is partly responsible for the warming of the climate and transforms our planet into a greenhouse. But although much is discussed, many of us have no feeling for it. How much carbon dioxide – or CO2 for short – does your car produce?
A concrete example: You drive a mid-range car, consumption: 8l / 100km; the tank volume is 55 liters. Since gasoline is lighter than water, this results in about 40 kilograms of gasoline per refueling process. This gas is burned in the engine. In the process, the carbon in the gasoline combines with the oxygen from the air, resulting in CO2.
One kilo of gasoline, which consists essentially of carbon, thus leads to over 3 kilograms of CO2 in the combustion! Thus, there is much more carbon dioxide than the gas weighs. With every tankful of fuel, our car produces about 150 kilos of CO2 (exactly: 144.6 kg) and after just under 9 x full tanks we have produced as much CO2 while driving as our car weighs! With an annual mileage of 12,000 kilometers per year, we blow up twice the weight of our car on average in the air! Even more with super-powered sports cars. Each year.
The CO2 savings of the solar park in Roggentin amount to 443,305 kg / year, as many as 165 cars emit in the example per year.
The greenhouse, covered with a 4 m wide light dome, has a size of 42.5m² (5m x 8.5m). The roof tops, east and west of the light dome, are equipped with SUNfarming modules, the generated solar electricity is used directly by the hotel.
The “SF Urban Farming Concept”, developed by SUNfarming, produces sustainable solar energy and regional food – on the same place. In addition to the solar power, vegetables, fruits, flowers or fish can be gained between the modules of new or already built PV free-field plants or in special agro-solar Food & Energy greenhouses.
Here, from one of the highest points of the Estrel, Peter Griebel, the kitchen director, not only enjoys a magnificent view over Berlin, but here he is now harvesting herbs, cauliflower, chili, chard and physalis, to mention only a few. Regionally and sustainably produced finesse and highlights for the hotel kitchen.
Learn more about the SUNfarming Urban Farming Concept
SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre is one of their key partners in cooperation with the North-West University in South Africa.
The North-West University (NWU) launched the Leopards Lair competition which received a large number of entries of which 12 finalists could exhibit their ideas to the public and industry partners at NWU Sethi Explosion. NWU student Kumbewe Liwewe, the founder of “Let´s Grow Together” has won the Award for best entrepreneurship/business idea.
The “Let’s Grow Together” initiative was launched by students of the North-West University (NWU) to address the issue of food insecurity on the campus by creating jobs for students in need of financial assistance.
“This is done by providing the campus of the NWU with fresh fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis. From the packing of vegetables, to the transport and delivery of vegetables “Let’s Grow Together” is able to create student jobs in everything we do. This however would not have been possible without the assistance of SUNfarming and the NWU’s Food & Energy Training Centre, who were vital to the conceptualization and initiation of “Let’s Grow Together”, said Kumbewe Liwewe.
The presence of the SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre creates a valuable resource for the students of the North-West University as through the presence of high quality food produced on the university campus is used to end food insecurity on the campus. This key partnership we believe will lead to the creation of at least fifty (50) on campus student jobs with the possibility of growth only limited by what is available with the existing Food & Energy infrastructure.
Video-Link: Interview with Kumbewe Liwewe
Another SUNfarming solar park was successfully completed in Mühlenbeck in the Oberhavel region.
“Mühlenbeck” is a solar park of superlatives: on an area of 55,000 m² on the former landfill, 12,048 solar modules of the type SUNfarming SF-AT235-60P with 260 and 265 Wp power were installed. The SUNfarming quality modules and inverters used are all “Made in Germany”. The energy produced in this way of 3,229,800 kWh can supply 1,000 2-person households with clean solar power in the year. In addition, SUNfarming is contributing around 1,937.511 kg of CO2 emissions this year, which corresponds to the output of approximately 750 medium-class cars.
Up to 50 fitters and technicians have carried out a “small miracle” and rammed up to 5000 posts, sometimes up to 1.20 m deep, into the ground, 516 “tables” and the modules were mounted.
SUNfarming invests 3.5 million euros from planning to completion of the plant. The leasing contract for the landfill site is over 20 years with an extension option of 5 years.
„Thanks to the good cooperation of politics, management and the executive companies the solar park could be established in record time“, said Managing Director Martin Tauschke. This excellent teamwork was also necessary, since plants of this size will no longer be possible from 2017, according to lawmakers. The upper limit will then be 0.75 MW. 3 days before Christmas 2016 the building permission was granted.
For the building authority manager Hans-Werner Labitzki the use of the landfill site is a sensible and sustainable after-use, valuable agricultural areas are spared. Furthermore, the safety fence built around the solar system prevents the possibility that wild boars could exploit old rubbish, as happened in the past.
Mayor Fillipo Smaldino-Stattaus is also pleased with the completion of the plant:
“The municipality’s trade tax revenues are rising and the municipality is saving the costs of securing and maintaining the area. Again, a puzzle piece has been found on the way to the green community of Mühlenbecker Land “.
For the first time, SUNfarming has applied for an Intersolar Award, the greater the jubilation was to win the Award in the category “Outstanding Solar Projects”.
The jury was impressed by the global development potential as well as the great social benefits, including the creation of new jobs. With the aim of producing food and energy economically, while at the same time resource-saving in one and the same place, 15 agro-solar greenhouses have been built on the campus of North-West University in South Africa. The project shows how photovoltaics are integrated into agro-solar substructures of large food and energy systems. With its professional knowledge the North-West University is an indispensable, operational partner in the Food & Energy project.
The Intersolar Award: Powering the future with innovation!
In the 2017 jubilee year, 133 projects from 21 countries were sent for the coveted Intersolar Award. One of Intersolar’s goals is to promote the industry’s innovative power. For this reason the organizers award the award every year. For 10 years, the world’s largest solar energy company has offered solar companies a unique platform to demonstrate their innovative power and to stand out from the competition.
Peter Schrum, principal shareholder of SUNfarming, thanks his project partners (DEG / KfW and North-West University) and his team with a call: “To multiply Food & Energy also in other countries, we need technically savvy Senior Experts who do not want to retire and want to share their knowledge with others. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. ”
David Morr, SUNfarming Projectmanager International Projects, to the question whether the project is also a matter of heart: “This is the madness! For 5 years we are fighting for our product Food & Energy to carry it out into the world and now to receive an Award is simply top.”
Mr. Senzeni Zokwana, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa, together with a 30-member delegation, visited SUNfarming Food & Energy Project on the Campus of North-West University in Potchefstroom South Africa.
The Minister calls the SUNfarming Food & Energy Project, a joint project of SUNfarming GmbH, North-West University and DEG / KfW on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, as a future-oriented development for agriculture in South Africa.
SUNfarming Food & Energy Project allows to produce food and solar energy at the same time through unique agro-solar greenhouses. Training in food production with water-saving droplet irrigation creates sustainable jobs. The Food & Energy Project is the first of its kind in Africa and the goal of SUNfarming and the NWU is to bring this project to all universities and schools in Africa. SUNfarming and the NWU see themselves as a nucleus to support other universities in research and education with their expertise.
Councillor Kgotso Khumalo Executive Mayor for Tlokwe municipality: “I am excited about the project and the potential it has for our municipality and I want to pledge our full support to this project.”
“The project provides an opportunity to grow affordable and nutritious food in local municipalities. This is an opportunity to effectively address household food and nutrition insecurity. This is innovative technology for agriculture and we want to see this replicated in other parts of the country as it effectively deals with the issue of climate change and the scarcity of water and land”, said Minister Zokwana.
“Agriculture is the answer to many problems. We need a doctor or dentist or lawyer several times a year, but we need a farmer at least three times a day. We need to strive for sustainable methods of agricultural production. What I have seen today is the future of agriculture, I congratulate you on this incredible initiative and innovation,” so Zokwana.
We would like to welcome you to our stand in Hall 3, A3.354
This year, SUNfarming presented itself as a partner, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ), to the 400,000 trade fair visitors.
The general interest in SUNfarming as a project developer for capital investors as well as in the realization and active support of PV projects for commercial and private power plants was as always great. This year, we were able to successfully present our unique “Food & Energy” concept, a combination of solar energy production and food production. With the
experience of more than 1,000 hectares of solar projects implemented worldwide, SUNfarming developed the unique Food & Energy concept. In addition to the benefits of solar energy, the key elements are food production, job creation, training and water management. The SUNfarming “5 in 1” model contributes actively to the sustainable improvement of people’s living conditions, particularly in resource-poor areas or refugee regions.
Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller, has put more support in the refugee policy for the countries of origin and was very interested in finding out more about our Food & Energy concept.
Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, showed also great interest in cooperation in the area of Food & Energy as an approach to combating the causes of flight. There will also be concrete discussions on projects in the solar PV sector in developing and emerging countries.
The Minister of the Environment of Qatar and the Agricultural Minister of Mauritius took the opportunity to get information about possibilities of cooperating with our competent project leaders.
Madagascar’s Embassy Adviser, the Ambassador of Guatemala and the Bolivian Ambassador, as well as a delegation from the Nigerian Embassy, were also interested guests.
Representing the Embassy of Paraguay, Mr Maidana, responsible for Economic Affairs, visited us and the embassy council of the Republic of El Salvador also got to know our stand.
The already implemented Food & Energy project in South Africa was presented by SUNfarming at the public event “A world without hunger is possible”, a special initiative of the BMZ.
At the head of a business delegation, Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Albrecht Gerber and the Managing Director of ZAB ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg, Sebastian Saule, visited Lima (Peru). Other members of the delegation included Meike Stockbrügger, external economist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy Brandenburg and Jörg Ranau, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Peru / Lima.
A special focus here was on Gerber’s expansion of renewable energies. Innovative technologies and commitment are necessary to stop climate change. Brandenburg companies like SUNfarming, can contribute their decades of experience and expertise in the field of renewable energies.
Already since 2015, SUNfarming, together with the Peruvian training organization SENATI and the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), has been running a PV training facility on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development The SENATI site in Lima, Peru. 80 Electrical engineers have been successfully trained at the Solar Training Center.
A further meeting of the economic delegation took place with Peruvian representatives of the SUNfarming subsidiary together with the Peruvian Agriculture Minister Jose Manuel Hernandez. The most important topic here was the latest SUNfarming project “Food & Energy”.
Based on our own developments, SUNfarming has developed a unique agro-solar substructure for greenhouses. The roof is partially covered with solar modules for energy production. This unique combination ensures effective food production and a sustainable energy supply through PV. The benefits for citizens and municipalities are endless. The project offers a broad participation of municipalities with long-term property, sustainable food and energy production and job security with a strong training component.
1. Green energy production
2. Food production
5. Water management
SUNfarming Food & Energy offers the unique possibility of double surface use. In addition to solar energy production, food is being grown under the modules to supply the local population.
Minister Jose Manuel Hernandez and delegation delegates from Brandenburg also showed great interest in this second project, which was developed by SUNfarming. Further discussions are planned on a possible cooperation.