From fluid milk to milk powder: Energy use and energy efficiency in the European dairy industry

C. A. Ramírez*, M. Patel, K. Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we conduct a cross-country analysis of energy consumption and energy efficiency for the dairy industry in four European countries. Changes in energy efficiency were monitored in two different ways. One way is to look at the energy use by tonne of milk processed by dairies (EE Ip 1). Another way is by comparing the actual energy use with the energy that would have been used if no changes in energy efficiency would have taken place (EE Ip 2). A characteristic of EE Ip 2 is that it corrects for differences in product mix among countries and in time. We found that changes in production mix are important in three of the four countries studied and that EE Ip 2 should be preferred when comparing levels of energy efficiency among countries or when there are significant changes in product mix. Once changes in product mix have been taken into account, our results show that France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have reduced their values in EE Ip 2, respectively by -0.4%, -2.1%, -1.2% and -3.8% per annum. The results also show that the British, German and Dutch dairy industries have converged towards similar (lower) values in their energy efficiency indicators and that the French dairy industry would save 30% if were to converge to similar values of EE Ip as the ones obtained for Germany or the United Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1984-2004
Number of pages21
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Dairy industry
  • Energy efficiency
  • Specific energy consumption


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