An increasing number of farms and agricultural businesses are looking towards renewable energy sources to power their daily operations and improve their energy independence. Considering the tremendous potential for renewable energy development in New Mexico (which has the best wind conditions and one of the highest rates of solar irradiance in the United States), farmers can create energy for free from renewable sources such as the wind, water, and sun, with little to zero initial investment.
These renewable energy sources benefit farmers in different ways. This article focuses on how you can take advantage of them to boost your productivity and reduce operational costs.
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world, which involves harvesting the winds that blow over high wind lands to make electricity. The turbines used to produce electricity from the wind are capable of providing a significant portion of the average power needs of a farm and is largely cost-effective.
Additional Advantages of Wind Energy:
- Wind energy is a clean fuel source: it does not pollute the air like power plants. Wind turbines do not produce emissions that cause smog, acid rain, or greenhouse gases.
- It is abundant and sustainable: wind is a domestic source of energy that is inexhaustible. Its capacity keeps going up every year. As long as the wind blows, wind energy can be harnessed to fill your power needs.
- Wind turbines can be built on existing farms: they only use less than half an acre so you can still graze livestock and plant crops right to the base of the turbines.
- You can also receive extra income from wind plant owners to host turbines on your farm.
Energy harnessed from the force of fast-moving water as it flows or falls downhill has long been used to power agricultural operations. However, installing a hydropower system on your farm depends mainly on having a good source of water with a constant flow.
Water power benefits the communities or farms they serve in terms of high energy density, sustainability, reliability, and low costs. Just like wind energy, it is also a clean fuel source which means it won’t pollute the air. Hydropower efforts can also serve for irrigation, flood control, and water supply.
Solar Power For Farms
The sun is undoubtedly a powerful source of energy. Solar power is all about energy from sunlight being converted into electricity using solar panels. It offers a lot of benefits to farmers, and some of them are as follows:
- Solar energy harnessed on large farms will result in low cost: solar power saves you money since it is cheaper than fossil fuels. After an initial investment on the installation cost, you’ll realize in the long run that solar power has given you a significant return on investment.
- Solar irrigation: Solar for farms facilitate agricultural water pumps for crops.
- Battery backup for farmers: you no longer have to live under the fear of power failures. With battery backups, you can store solar energy for later use or use it when the sun is down.
- It is the most efficient way to combat global warming: if you want to reduce your carbon footprint significantly, adopt solar energy.
In conclusion, these renewable energy options can reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your farm, and help you reduce your carbon footprint. They are clean energy sources, reliable and inexhaustible. It only makes sense to adopt one to start enjoying the benefits. However, the option that will make the most sense to you depends on the local renewable resources available to you, energy markets, and the kinds of support available from the state and the federal government.