MONDAY 07 MARCH, 2011 |
U.S. Farms Embracing Solar Power
America's farmers have seen the potential of potential of renewable energy to
reduce their operating costs and over the last decade, solar power systems, wind
turbines and methane digesters have become an increasingly common site in rural
In the first ever nationwide survey of renewable energy practices on American's
farms and ranches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA
reports that by the end of 2009 there were over 8,500 farms generating some form
of renewable energy.
were the most prominent form of green electricity generation, both solar
and solar thermal based; with close to 8,000 farms implementing the
technology. Over 1,400 operations were using wind
and 121, methane digesters.
The state with the most farm based renewable energy production was California,
accounting for nearly 2,000 operations. Other states showing substantial uptake
included Texas, Hawai'i and Colorado.
The use of renewable energy on farms was by no means just about reducing carbon
emissions - there have been major financial benefits for farmers. Farm
operations in New York participating in the survey reported electricity bill
savings in excess of $5,000 in 2009.
U.S. farmers aren't the only ones showing an interest in renewable energy. A survey
of U.K. farmers
last year showed 80% were interested in installing rooftop
solar farms to help power their operations and to create an additional revenue
stream. Farmers in Australia have also been increasingly installing solar energy
to reduce their costs and through feed
schemes in various states, generate additional farm income.
The full USDA 2009 On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey report can
be viewed here
Other news for Monday 07 March, 2011
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services