On-Farm Renewable Energy Generation Rises Sharply

March 30, 2011

The first national report on renewable energy generation on farms and ranches indicates that the number of solar, wind, and methane digestion energy sources is increasing substantially. The US Dept. of Agriculture report, based on 2009 data, provides information on factors such as number of installations, energy generated, costs, savings, subsidies, and trends, and looks at both national and state-by-state conditions.

Solar installations were by far the most common choice, followed by wind turbines, with a small number of methane digesters. CA, TX, HI, CO, and OR were the leading states for all three energy sources combined. Others with relatively high numbers included WA, MT, AZ, NM, OK, WI, and NY, and all states had at least a few facilities. Compared to the year 2000, the number of farm and ranch operators who had one of these energy sources in use in 2009 was about 2.5 to 7 times higher.