Alberta boasts itself as the largest honey producer among all Canadian provinces, with commercial bee farms ranging in size from 100 to greater than 10,000 colonies. Alberta’s commercial beekeepers are continuously trying to decrease their costs and greenhouse gas emissions through alternate energy options to become increasingly energy-efficient, says Connie Phillips, the executive director of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission ABC.
Dandelion Renewables was pleased to work on a project with the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, improving the energy efficiency of Alberta’s commercial beekeeping industry. A report, ‘Current Technology and Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Alberta Commercial Beekeeping Industry’ by Alberta Beekeepers Commission, was featured on the official Government of Alberta’s website on September 28, 2020.
This report sheds light on how Dandelion Renewables helped Alberta beekeepers explore new energy efficiency opportunities to enhance their sustainability and decrease their carbon footprint. We will now discuss some of the vital details that were shared to let you know how we made it possible for Alberta beekeepers to achieve their alternate energy goals.
Important Details From The Report
The report’s primary purpose is to describe the Alberta commercial beekeeping industry’s current technologies and energy consumption. It also helps identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements to boost sustainability and lessen the carbon footprint of commercial beekeeper farm operations in Alberta.
9 beekeeper facilities were selected as a sample set of farms to represent the industry in Alberta.
The sample farms were visited to achieve the following results:
- Measure the energy consumption patterns of different equipment
- Identify the most energy-efficient devices and methods among those producers
- Make farm-specific recommendations for making energy efficiency enhancements
Dandelion Renewables visited the nine sample farms during the first half of 2019. The farm sizes ranged from 2500 hives to 10,000 hives, with an average quantity of the sample farms at 5365 hives.
Each farm was provided with a farm-specific report with key recommendations for the most cost-effective opportunities for the farm to increase energy efficiency, decrease energy costs, and lessen greenhouse gas emissions related to the farming operations energy consumption.
These site visits showed that it’s economical to implement energy-efficient enhancements to decrease energy consumption at the sample farms ($/hive) by an average of 5.1% for gasoline and diesel, 29.5% for electricity, 2.7% for propane, and 1.4% for natural gas.
The suggested energy enhancements at the nine sample farms should decrease the average annual farm energy expenses from $11.566/hive to $10.839/hive, equivalent to an energy-cost savings of 6.3% or $0.727/hive.
The average size of the sample farm was 5365 hives/farm with an average energy-cost savings potential of $3,900/year. The average energy savings by energy source would be $1029/year (0.192/hive), natural gas $11/year ($0.002/hive), propane $35/year ($0.007/hive), and gasoline and diesel $2825/year ($0.527/hive).
The energy efficiency enhancements suggested were provided to the farms visited, with a positive rate of return on investment ranging from 2 years to 9 years payback, and internal rate of return on investment (IRR) in the range of 7% to 182% over the economic life of the implemented improvement.
Based on an assumption of 256 commercial beekeepers in Alberta with 285,300 hives and an average farm size of 1114 hives/farm, with a similar energy-efficiency cost savings potential as the sample farms average, the energy-cost savings would translate to an industry total of $207,413 per year.
The estimated GHG emissions reduction related to the potential energy efficiency enhancements across all commercial beekeeping farms in Alberta could be 8.1% or 709 tCO2e/year.
Dandelion Renewables offers efficient alternate energy solutions to its municipal, residential, and commercial customers across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Visit our website to learn more about our renewable energy services or contact us for personalized service.