Farmers Love their Solar Power

A recent census by the USDA has found that American farmers areincreasingly using renewable energy to cut electricity bills andmitigate farming’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

The types of renewable energy most used are solar panels, windturbines and methane digesters, in that order. 7,968 farms were foundto be using solar (PV and thermal), 1,430 were using wind and 121 farmswere using methane digesters.

California was the state where renewable energy is most prevalentamongst farmers, with an adoption rate of 25%. The Golden State wasfollowed by Texas, Hawaii. In all these states more than 500 farmingoperations were generating their own electricity.

The census did not take into account farms that simply lease theirland to utilities that supply the general grid, in which case thenumbers would be a lot higher as this is quite common in the Midwest.

The switch to renewable energy is paying. In New York State somefarmers said they had saved more than $5,000 in 2009 by generating their own electricity.

Via Clean Technica and USDA.