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Productivity improvements through energy innovation in the Australian sugar industry

The majority of Australian sugarcane is produced on farms with full or supplementary irrigation. As an irrigated industry in a variable climate, energy is a critical input and significant cost component in the sugarcane gross margin. This project examined various technology components available to reduce the cost of pumping in a micro grid situation: solar PV, diesel gensets, grid energy, wind turbine and lithium-ion batteries, and the effect of grid connection policies and retail pricing. Finance options for renewable energy installations were also evaluated. SRA acknowledges the funding contribution from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) towards this research activity.

Project date

7 Jan 2017-7 Jan 2020

Principal investigator

Jon Welsh

Research organisation


Project led by


Sugar Research Australia (SRA)

SRA invests in and manages a portfolio of research, development and adoption projects that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for …

  • Location

    Australia wide

  • Organisation type

    Research funding body, Research service providers

Logo for Sugar Research Australia (SRA)

Focus areas



Technology areas

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  • Start date

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  • Research organisation

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