ICaRE4Farms - Increase the capacity of Renewable Energies (RE) in Farms in the North West Europe Region by using Solar Thermal Energy

Project Summary

ICaRE4Farms (I4F) intends to boost the use of solar thermal energy (STE) in farming in NWE, to contribute to reduce GHG emissions and increase the share of renewable energies, to help the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet the EU 2030 goal of 27% share for RE. STE is an affordable RE to heat water and has a huge potential to replace fossil energies.

However, in the NWE region, it only provides 1.1% of total energy consumption and 0.25% of that in agriculture, due to the low efficiency of current systems in areas with low solar irradiance.

Through transnational cooperation, I4F will test next generation STE systems in 4 agricultural sectors that require hot water to feed livestock (calves) and heat farm buildings (poultry, pigs) and greenhouses (horticulture). The technology that I4F will test is up to 3 times more efficient than traditional STE systems (900 vs. 350kWh/m²). It has shown to be reliable, affordable, easy to install and long lifetime (40 years) with low maintenance requirements. It allows a 70% reduction of GHG emitted for water heating. The partners will share good practices and implement the solution taking into account the features of each region and sector, will install and monitor 4 pilot sites to test and demonstrate the technology, and will support the deployment of other 17 flagship STE systems to improve the economic model and validate the GHG cuts. The outcome of the monitoring will be fed into a feasibility assessment tool and a digital model of the STE system, including software for the farmers to manage the system. The project partners will build a transnational network of distributors and installers to roll-out STE in NWE, to lead the market uptake.

In 10 years, it is expected that nearly 1,000 STE systems will be operational in NWE (10 new sites per year in the first 5 years and 20 in the next 5), saving 92 ktCO2 per year, equivalent to 1,4% of CO2 emissions in agriculture in NWE in 2016 and generate 200 new jobs.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Laval Mayenne Technopole 6 rue Leonard de Vinci
valerie.moreau@laval-technopole.fr www.laval-technopole.fr
Name Contact Name Email Country
Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique Pascal Dragon contact@ac3a.chambagri.fr France
Innovatiesteunpunt Marleen Gysen marleen.gysen@innovatiesteunpunt.be Belgium
University of Lincoln Richard Turner rturner@lincoln.ac.uk United Kingdom
SunChip Projects BV Marc Peters marc@solarapplab.com Netherlands
Cornelissen Consulting Services BV Gijs van Pruissen vanpruissen@ccsenergieadvies.nl Netherlands
Université Bretagne Sud Audrey Maffessoli audrey.maffessoli@univ-ubs.fr France
Northern and Western Regional Assembly Brendan Mooney bmooney@nwra.ie Ireland
Feng Technologies SAS Liqun Feng liqun.feng@fengtech.fr France


Laval Mayenne Technopole (LMT) is the key actor for innovation in Mayenne and supports economic development of the territory through innovation.

Member of EBN (European Business Network) and certified EU-BIC, LMT has more than 20 years of experience in supporting innovative entrepreneurs to validate their business idea, design their product/service, raise funds and grow on a national and international level. LMT also supports local SMEs to develop new products and services (Digital, Data, Agrifood business, NLP, RV/RA).

With more than 10 years of experience in collaborative and European projects, LMT has developed an extended network of trusted partners (Universities, SMEs and large corporations).


Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique is an association which was set up in 1993. Its members are the Chambers of Agriculture from the Atlantic area.

AC3A aims at providing the opportunity to the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area to experiment and exchange on a European level about agricultural issues in order to ensure the sector remains dynamic, innovative and sustainable.

AC3A’s projects identify and/or develop solutions to support the Chambers in this process, through European cooperation. Also, AC3A shares savoir-faire developed within the Chambers with partners from other European countries.

Innovatiesteunpunt vzw (ISP) the Innovation Support Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development is the specialized service in Flanders for guiding agricultural entrepreneurs, groups of rural residents and local governments in taking a new future-oriented direction. Embedded within Boerenbond, the largest farmers’ organization in Flanders, our activities are focused on a sustainable agriculture in a vibrant rural area, targeting three domains: technical development, business development and rural development.

ISP represents the Flemish farmers and will help to find Flemish farmers who want to invest in Solar Thermal energy systems on their farms.

The University of Lincoln  main role is teaching, doing research and knowledge exchange with 13,000 students. Lincolnshire produces 25% of UK's fresh produce, so serving the Agri-food sector is central mission in close collaboration between the 'School of Engineering' and the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology. UoL is engaged in several North West Europe Interreg projects and in many international research projects.

The University of Lincoln will

  • provide research and support in optimising the technology in UK
  • provide a pilot site at Riseholme farm (UoL farms)
  • collaborate with other partners, especially with UBS, to develop the monitoring methodology, analyse the data and develop a digital model of the ETF system to understand the energy behaviour of the installation
  • disseminate project results via articles and scientific publications


SunChip Projects BV is developing parameterized production processes and tooling for agricultural BIPV-roofing (Sunbqt) enabled by its revolutionary NVO electronics. This electronics combines significantly increased annual energy output, with greatly improved fire safety by no longer using contact technology-based solutions like connectors, but instead opting for full wireless power transfer.

Cornelissen Consulting Services is an energy consultancy based in the Netherlands that initiates and advises on projects in the field of energy. Key concepts in the CCS work area are:

  • heat

  • CHP and
  • biogas.

We work in the agricultural sector, industry and building environment. Our mission is to realize profitable energy solutions through an innovative approach. CCS is continuously developing and improving new and innovative applications.

Université de Bretagne Sud (UBS) is a multidisciplinary university. It offers academic programmes to 8500 students (72 nationalities) from Bachelor’s degree to doctorate level in different areas: arts, social sciences, engineering, computer science, biochemistry, mathematics, law, economics and business.

Research at UBS among its 250 researchers and 200 PhD students. It’s organized around 14 laboratories grouped into 4 research and innovation centres: “materials and energy”, “digital”, “human, sea and coastline”, “customs and societies”.

Its research income is nearly 5.5 M€ / year.

UBS Main research axes are :

  • D3 – Marine activities for Blue Growth
  • D4 –Technology for digital age
  • D6 - Advanced industrial technologies
  • D7- Observation, and energy and ecological engineering

The Northern and Western Regional Assembly aims to play a transformative role in the success of our region. Our Vision is to craft a creative, vibrant and low-carbon regional economy. Our members and team simply want to ‘connect’ the strengths of this incredible region and celebrate its unique sense of place. The Assembly is intent on leading Ireland into 2040.

Our objectives are clear. The Regional Assembly is intent on adopting international best practice in planning & development in order to create better places. Underpinning this approach is the commitment to enhancing competitiveness through policies that build resilience and sustainability, working with our stakeholders to utilise EU & Exchequer funding. Achieving this will be done through a dedicated and principled approach to collaboration.

The Regional Assembly has a vision to enhance our region’s competitiveness through ‘CONNECTING’ and building on our strengths. The Regional Assembly is playing a lead role in the success story of this region.

Feng Technologies SAS is a Young Innovative Company created in 2010 by Liqun FENG, located in Laval in Mayenne and integrated into Laval Mayenne Technopole. Its main activity is focused on product innovation capturing solar energy to produce solar thermal energy. Thanks to outdoor installations, companies and individuals save at least 50% on their energy bill.


Details of work pacages will appear here.


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