Friday, December 2, 2011

Renewable Energy and Agriculture

Renewable Energy and Agriculture: A Natural Fit. Renewable energy and farming are a winning combination. Wind, solar, and biomass energy can be harvested forever, providing farmers with a long-term source of income. This fact sheet is an overview of renewable energy options for farmers and ranchers with tips on how they can help make renewables a growing source of energy and rural income in the United States.
Farming the Wind: Wind Power and Agriculture. Wind energy alone could provide $1.2 billion in new income for farmers and rural landowners by 2020, as well as 80,000 new jobs. Farmers can benefit from wind energy in many ways, including generating their own power, leasing land to wind developers, and becoming wind developers themselves. One wind turbine uses only one-quarter acre of land, including access roads, and can earn royalties up to $2,000 per year.

Up with the Sun: Solar Energy and Agriculture. Solar energy is clean and unlimited. Capturing the sun's energy for light, heat, hot water, and electricity can be a convenient way to save money, increase self-reliance, and reduce pollution. Whether drying crops, heating buildings, or powering a water pump, using the sun can make the farm more economical and efficient.

Growing Energy on the Farm: Biomass Energy and Agriculture. Biomass energy has the potential to supply a significant portion of America's energy needs while revitalizing rural economies, increasing energy independence, and reducing pollution. Tripling US use of biomass for energy could provide as much as $20 billion in new income for farmers and rural communities and reduce global warming emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 70 million cars off the road.