Assisting industry to adopt renewable energy technologies
Renewable energy technologies hold considerable potential for wine producers to reduce operating costs and environmental footprint. While the potential energy and emission savings are significant (perhaps as much as 75% depending on the technology employed), it is unlikely that the Australian wine industry will move into this area until real-world wine industry specific data are available to address technical risks and high capital costs. This project will focus on well-established commercial technologies such as: solar photovoltaics, wind and geothermal, together with proven biomass technology including: gasification, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion, and emerging options such as solar thermal. A framework for establishing optimal process configurations for individual winery installations (and, potentially, regional processing facilities) will be determined. Although not considered economically or environmentally feasible in previous studies, the capture and reuse of CO2 arising from fermentation will be re-examined to address specific industry interest in this topic. Opportunities to improve process economics by integrating resources and waste streams from other co-located agricultural activities will also be evaluated. In collaboration with industry partners in key wine producing regions, the project will provide: a technical and economic assessment of the various energy and by-product options; an evaluation of by-products and waste streams from co-located regional agriculture to determine operating synergies with winery based energy systems; and recommendations for a regional pilot plant to demonstrate key technology in action. Collaboration is envisaged with other industry groups, including the almond and piggery industries, which have made progress in these areas.