Renewable energy has a diverse range of benefits, attractive to farmers for a variety of reasons. You might see the appeal in reducing your environmental impact, or maybe you’re more concerned with the financial advantages of renewables. The self-sufficient aspect is also a draw for many homesteaders, as you don’t have to rely on other systems when you can generate your own power.
Regardless of your motivations, renewable energy is becoming easier to adopt than ever. Many of these options are affordable and accessible, even if you work within the limitations of a tight budget. You’ll find it’s easier than ever to make the transition to renewable energy, as long as you set aside time for research.
We’ll guide you in the right direction, walking you through three ways you can offset your reliance on fossil fuels and lower your operational expenses. If you’re ready and willing to switch to solar, wind or biomass energy, study the following sections. Your homestead could soon be more self-sufficient than ever before.
The cost of solar panel installations has declined in recent years, no longer such a significant barrier for those of you who want to generate your own power. An increasing number of farms and agricultural businesses are beginning to switch to solar, and this change is simple to understand. Solar panels have a long list of attractive features.
To start, you’ll slash your electricity and heating bills, saving you money you can spend on other areas of your operation. Energy independence also means you’re not affected if the grid goes down, and changes in oil prices will have less of an impact on your utility costs. You help to preserve the environment as well.
That said, solar panels aren’t always allowed on leased land, depending on your situation. Some farmers fail to properly arrange their solar modules and find it difficult to drive around them, though this is avoidable. Reliability is occasionally a concern, but these problems have a solution, as detailed in the next section.
Wind power has seen use in the agriculture industry for many years, and professionals have employed it in the past to pump water and generate electricity. Today’s installations are an extension of that, with large turbines that aren’t disruptive to an operation while making the most of agricultural land.
These turbines may seem outside of your price range, but farmers are starting to form wind power cooperatives to share the costs of equipment. After installation, you’ll enjoy a powerful system for electricity generation with few consequences, as a typical wind farm leaves 98 percent of land undisturbed.
Reliability is an issue at times, but storage batteries improve the capacity of energy generation for wind and solar. Even so, wind power still suffers from certain problems, such as the noise they produce and their visual impact on a landscape. Some landowners find them unappealing for these reasons.
Biomass shows incredible promise as a source of renewable energy, and farmers like yourself have found it easy — and even profitable — to use it to generate your own power. As for the creation of biomass energy, it converts plants and organic wastes to fuel and heat for the benefit of homes and operations like your own.
Of course, the process is slightly more complicated, but the statistics are easy to understand. If the U.S. triples its use of biomass energy, farmers and rural communities will enjoy $20 billion in new income. New incentives for biomass are available, making them easily accessible for those who are interested.
As for the disadvantages of this option, some farmers dislike the idea of growing crops for biomass instead of food. Though biomass crops are often cheaper and more sustainable to produce, they still take up space. Additionally, biomass energy isn’t as eco-friendly as the other sources of energy on this list.
Can You Generate Your Own Power?
If you’re ready to make the transition to renewable energy, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you decide on solar, wind or biomass energy, you can feel confident as you invest in your homestead and become even more self-sufficient.