Leveraging CAP funds to decarbonize irrigated agriculture in Europe (managing authorities)

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Current irrigation systems are inefficient and carry many shortcomings such as high operating costs (diesel or electricity consumption for irrigation pumps accounts for up to 40% of the total cost in many farms), water scarcity (water consumption for irrigation in Europe is estimated at 60 billion m3/year) and environmental damage (irrigation alone is responsible for the emissions of more than 16 million tons of CO2/year).

Solar irrigation is a technology that can drastically reduce these negative impacts but requires high upfront investments and technical complexities that prevent most farmers to adopt it. EU policies, particularly the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), can be an effective tool to overcome these barriers by supporting suitable business models and by attracting specialized stakeholders such as investment funds and RE companies.

A new Financial Instrument has been developed by the H2020 SolaQua project, eligible for funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). This Financial Instruments promotes the introduction of solar energy for irrigation pumping to replace existing, fossil fuel-based, facilities. It seeks to support the use of photovoltaic irrigation systems, thus reducing energy costs for farmers, the sector’s carbon footprint, and improving water management.

The aim of this two-day event is to present the CAP-funded Financial Instrument (FI) as well as relevant materials such as a legal analysis and a set of policy recommendations, a tool for improving existing regulations in all the regions suitable for photovoltaic irrigation systems, among others. The Government of Aragon and the Comunidad Valenciana (Spain) are already implementing the new instrument and will explain first-hand the steps they have taken, the obstacles encountered and the results so far. It will happen on June 15yh and 16th in Valencia and online.

It is therefore mainly addressed to managing authorities dealing with the Rural Development Programmes (RDP), energy, water, or environmental departments. A demonstration of a photovoltaic irrigation system in Villena (Alicante) will take place during the event, a unique opportunity to better understand how it works and facilitate its adoption at a political level in your regions.

Registration at https://form.jotform.com/231354707405351

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