Farm Energy

Farming can be energy intensive. Fuel and electricity prices are volatile and tend to rise over time, contributing to increased operational expenses that can impact a farm’s profit. Additionally, farmers may want to reduce their reliance on energy sources that contribute to climate change. NCAT has developed resources to help farmers improve energy efficiency and move toward renewable energy sources such as solar and biofuels.

Choosing sustainable production systems that reduce energy use and focusing on energy efficiency are ways farmers can reduce energy use and expenses. Areas to look for energy-efficiency opportunities include lighting; irrigation; motors and pumps; heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC); refrigeration; systems controllers; water heating; machinery; and buildings. When energy use is lowered, alternative forms of energy can be an option to cover all or part of the farm’s remaining energy needs.

The practical ATTRA resources here can help you get started. Don’t miss our Farm Energy Efficiency tutorial, which provides individual lessons on farm building efficiency, outdoor lighting, irrigation efficiency, solar, small-scale wind, and biodiesel, as well as our resources on alternative forms of energy for the farm.

Featured Topics

ATTRA’s Farm Energy Resources

Matt Steiman showing us the 150,000-gallon anaerobic digester tank at Dickenson College Organic Farm.

A Mid-Scale Anaerobic Biodigester Creates On-Farm Renewable Energy

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Harvesting the Sun

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North Metro TV Features AgriSolar Farm to Table Event

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Sunrise on Battlefield Lavender Farm

Battlefield Lavender Farm: Solar Powered Processing

By Chris Lent, NCAT Agriculture Specialist The concept of…

AgriSolar Podcast Ep. 6: The Big Picture and Nitty Gritty of Agrisolar

This episode is a conversation between NCAT Energy Program Director…

WEBINAR: AgriSolar in the Pacific Northwest

In this video, Max Greene and Emily Griffith of Renewable Northwest…

AgriSolar Podcast Ep. 5: Sharing the Journey with AgriSolar Consulting

This episode is a conversation between NCAT Energy Program Director…

WEBINAR: AgriSolar Ownership, Lease, and Land Planning

In this webinar, AgriSolar Clearinghouse team members Carl Berntsen…

WEBINAR: Policy Approaches for Dual-use and AgriSolar Practices

In this webinar, Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher from the the Center for…

AgriSolar ‘Farm to Table’ Event Offers an Agrivoltaic Feast

In February of 2023, the AgriSolar Clearinghouse held an AgriSolar…

Webinar: Ecosystem Services of Solar-Pollinator Habitats

In this webinar, Lee Walston and Heidi Hartmann from Argonne…

AgriSolar Podcast Ep. 4: Birds, Bees, and Butterflies – Solar Pollinator Habitat

This episode features a conversation between Stacie Peterson,…
Man walking through flowers in front of solar panel array.NCAT

WEBINAR: Made in the Shade: Growing Crops under Solar Panels

In this webinar, Dr. Greg Barron-Gafford discusses the effects…

AgriSolar Podcasts Ep. 2: Keeping Family Farms in Family Hands with AgriSolar in Massachusetts

This episode is a conversation between Stacie Peterson, NCAT’s…
people stand under solar panels

AgriSolar Podcasts Ep. 1: Growing Crops Among the Solar Panels in Colorado

It's summer and we're celebrating the sun by reposting this excellent…