Turning the Sun into Power
Whether growing food, feed, fuel or fiber, every farmer and rancher relies on the sun to support their operation. Now, with advances in technology, many farmers are also utilizing the sun to decrease their energy costs. By installing solar panels or other devices that capture the sun's heat, farmers are becoming better environmental stewards, while improving their bottom line.
Though solar energy projects can be large up front investments, over time they will pay themselves off through energy savings and government incentives. Farms and ranches are energy intensive operations- and the more energy they use, the more costs they will save through investments in solar energy and other renewables.
And their are a variety of ways farmers and ranchers are using clean, renewable solar energy right now:
- solar water heating
- solar greenhouse heating
- solar crop drying
- solar space heating; and
- general electricity: fencing, lighting etc.
Are you a farmer or rancher? In the links below you will find websites that help you determine how your operation can benefit from solar energy and how you can take advantage of state and federal incentives for clean energy.
Solar energy is among a variety of current opportunities for producers to provide eco-benefits while cutting costs. Couple that with compensation from energy/climate change legislation and there are real economic benefits available for America's farmers and ranchers. Agriculture can and will play an important role in the emerging green economy.