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Home  > Farm Energy Alternatives

Farm Energy Alternatives


Looking for energy-related equipment, funding, or a local business with the right expertise?
Try ATTRA's Directory of Energy Alternatives.

The heavy use of fossil-based fuels and fertilizers in the U.S. food system lies at the heart of many of our environmental, health, and national security problems. Sustainable agriculture and sustainable energy are really two sides of the same coin.

The publications, success stories, and links within these pages explain how to make farm buildings more energy efficient, use the sun's energy to heat greenhouses and pump water, choose and put up wind turbines, make and use biofuels, and much more.

View a comprehensive list of all Energy Publications.
Or explore the topic areas below.

» Biodiesel » Conserving Fuel and Electricity
» Ethanol » Farm Energy Calculators
» Wind Energy » Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizer and Indirect Energy Usage
» Solar Energy » Reducing Food Miles
» Hydro Power » Dairy Energy Efficiency
» Anaerobic Digesters and Other Biomass Options » Irrigation Efficiency
» Energy Co-ops and Local Ownership » Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture
» Funding Opportunities    


A Farmer's Handbook for Energy Self-Reliance
The following guide created by the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School is a tool to help farmers increase energy self-reliance and profitability.

A Farm Energy Field Guide from Maine Rural Partners
A diverse collection of publications, templates, sample audit reports, and other training materials. Includes many energy efficiency and renewable energy topics: lighting, dairies, buildings, cooling, fuel usage, greenhouses, irrigation, motors, storage, ventilation, water heating, biofuels, biomass, solar, wind, and funding opportunities.

National Agricultural Law Center ~ Renewable Energy Reading Room
A website containing information specific to agriculture and energy, including articles, major statutes and regulations, case law, publications, materials from many government agencies and additional resources that will prove beneficial to attorneys, researchers, farmers and others involved in the renewable energy field.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program: Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture
Information on SARE funded renewable energy projects including construction of passive solar greenhouses, alternative biomass production, on-farm biomass conversion methods and small-scale methane digesters.

Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables
Innovative SARE-funded research and examples of farmers who are improving energy efficiency while saving money, implementing farming practices that both save energy and protect natural resources, and producing and using renewable fuels.

25x'25: America's Energy Future
News updates, economic analysis, position papers, calendar of events, and other resources from a broad-based coalition whose vision is that "By 2025, America's farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed and fiber.

Environmental and Energy Studies Institute: Agriculture & Energy
Publications, news updates, policy initiatives, and Congressional briefings.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency:
Opportunities for Oregon's Agricultural Producers
An overview of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency opportunities, and incentive programs available to Oregon's agricultural producers, with good case studies.

Energy Farms Network
Information and links about growing and processing bioenergy crops as well as updates on the Network's Local Farm Energy Demonstration Projects.

The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy
Brochures, fact sheets, publications, and electronic tools, emphasizing the southeastern US (especially North Carolina) and wind energy.

U of Minnesota Agricultural and Alternative Energy Links
Links to alternative energy information sources including solar, wind, fuel cell and biogas, among others.

Alternative Energy for Agriculture -- Publications List
The USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center's list of farm energy options.

Renewable Energy and Agriculture: A Natural Fit
Includes downloadable fact sheets on renewable energy topics specifically related to agriculture.

Repowering the Midwest--Clean Energy Information for the Heartland
State-by-state opportunities for clean energy in the Midwest including suggestions for clean energy development plans.

Harvesting Clean Energy
Renewable energy technical and educational resources for rural landowners and communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Resources for Agricultural Energy Efficiency
Includes links to commercial contacts, government offices, research organization and trade associations.

NRCS Energy Program
Includes energy estimator calculators for animal housing, irrigation, nitrogen and tillage.

Energy and Agriculture: Making the Connection
Resources and links for farmers and ranchers interested in renewable energy.

Energy and Agriculture: Making it Work
Article summarizing a presentation at Iowa State University by Hunter Lovins about on-farm efficiency. Includes a link to Lovins' paper entitled, "Energy and Sustainable Agriculture".

EnergyAg Newsbriefs Monthly Listserv
The WSU Energy Program hosts a monthly listserv that highlights agricultural news, events and resources, providing technical assistance and project management.

Midwest Rural Energy Council
Information about energy efficiency and energy generation for rural energy users.

Farm Bill 2002 Title IX: Energy
Outlines the new developments and grants related to renewable energy in the 2002 Farm Bill.

2002 Farm Bill Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program
Program that funds grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business for assistance with purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements.

Environmental Law & Policy Center: Energy
Clean energy resources for the Midwest region.

USDA Rural Utilities Service: Renewable Energy
Renewable energy technology resources, meetings of interest, grant programs and success stories.

Using Renewable Energy in Agriculture [PDF/52K]
A 4 page PDF document that highlights agricultural renewable energy options and provides examples of agricultural facilities that have installed renewable energy.


Solar panels on display, NCAT photo


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This page was last updated on: May 23, 2012