Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-02-15 - 2026-08-14

With the European Climate Law, the achievement of the EU's climate target formulated in the European Green Deal to reduce emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030 becomes a legal obligation. The Fit for 55 package includes a number of proposals to revise and update EU legislation and aims to ensure a coherent and balanced framework for achieving the EU's climate goals. With the presentation of this package, the European Commission proposes a net carbon storage target of 310 Mt CO2 eq in the LULUCF sector for the EU by 2030, and a binding national target of 5,650 kt CO2 eq applies to Austria. In this context, the European Commission proposes to establish a carbon storage certification scheme to provide additional incentives to increase net carbon storage. Within the framework of a study, the potentials for increasing net carbon storage in land use are to be evaluated with a view to achieving the target proposed for Austria. To this end, the willingness of farmers to implement possible additional measures of land management and land use changes with regard to agricultural land will be examined. With the support of the expertise of suitable partners, a practical questionnaire will be developed that asks about the willingness to implement additional measures for additional carbon storage in soil and biomass (compared to the current state) on farms. In addition, a research and presentation of conducive and inhibiting socio-economic framework conditions in Austria for the implementation of measures for carbon storage on agricultural land is carried out.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-02-19 - 2025-08-18

Energy costs, particularly in the form of electricity, are playing an increasingly important economic role on farms due to the rise in energy prices. As electricity prices will remain at a higher level in the future, but above all become more volatile than before, the economic price risk for farms is increasing. On the other hand, security of supply has increasingly become the focus of social discourse. Due to Austria's high dependency on imported energy sources, this leads to an increasing risk in the security of supply. One form of risk management can be to make the farm as energy self-sufficient as possible. The possibilities for this have become more diverse due to the further development of renewable energy technologies and the investment decision for farms is often associated with great economic uncertainty. This project aims to evaluate the technologies available on the market (in the field of solar power production, storage and use) and operational development paths (flexibilisation measures in efficiency and load management) with regard to energy self-sufficiency from a technical and economic perspective and to survey their acceptance among farm managers. In addition to surveys on motives for such investment decisions and attitudes towards energy self-sufficiency and risk perception, high-resolution energy simulation and business risk assessment models will be developed and applied to typical farms in Austrian agriculture. From this, an Excel tool will be developed to support the work of agricultural advisors and thus make a significant contribution to the development of more sustainable structures in agriculture.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-09-01 - 2025-08-31

Against this background the overall objective of D4AgEcol is to identify the appropriate digital tools and technologies for the transition to agroecological farming systems and suggest measures to adapt and exploit their potentials to the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems. The project is driven by the vision of the rapid digitalisation of agriculture, which strengthens the agricultural sector. However, in order to capitalize the potentials of agroecology, policy intervention is necessary to enable the implementation of digital tools, which foster agroecological systems. D4AgEcol will provide a balanced assessment of relevant digital tools and technologies for multiple farming systems, while considering its impacts on the agroecology. In addition, potential trade-offs, and concerns of stakeholders and citizens will be identified. Necessary policy interventions will be demonstrated in national and European roadmaps for promoting agroecology with digitalisation in the EU and more detailed in seven European regions covering the broad spectrum of European agricultural farming systems in the most relevant pedo-climatic zones. The results of this project will be relevant for farmers, stakeholders, and policy makers at different scales - from regional to national and European level. The benefits for farmers and stakeholders will be to identify promising digital tools and technologies in their environment. For policy makers information about necessary policy frameworks and potentials for policy interventions will be useful to develop the digitalisation as an enabler of agroecology in Europe.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations