The integration of renewables into companies’ energy supplies represents an important challenge that has to be undertaken in order to improve their economic potential and to reduce or even avoid the use of fossil energy sources. Whilst the global energy market is still dominated by fossil fuels as the primary energy source, the intention of more and more companies is to achieve a self-sufficient supply of renewable energy.
The aim of this contribution is to present the integration of renewables within the supply-chain of an existing large-scale meat company. The potential renewable energy sources located within the surrounding region of the company are solar, biomass, certain types of waste, and geothermal energy sources. The surrounding regional network typically comprises agricultural and harvesting (L1), collection and pre-processing (L2), core processing (L3), and usage (L4) layers, and the transportation between these layers. A model for the synthesis of regional supply-networks for the supply of energy and bioproducts, introduced by Cucek et al. (2010) was applied and upgraded in order to i) integrate the company’s supply-chain within the regional supply-network, and ii) include, different types of renewables as sources for the company’s energy supply. An overall supply-network is proposed that merges the company’s supply-chain and the regional supply-network, thus integrating the renewables. At L1, it now comprises the cultivation of food and energy crops, and the harvesting of geothermal and solar energy; at L2, the harvesting of crops and the production of fodder and eggs; and at L3, meat-processing, rendering, anaerobic digestion, and photovoltaic and geothermal power production.