Solar Energy

Cows and solar livestock watering system (Photo Credit NRCS)
Energy from the sun can supply usable power such as heat or electricity. Find information about solar energy technologies, ongoing research, policies and programs.

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Provides a topical overview, data, and links to news, publications, online resources, and case studies.

Ohio State University Extension.

The Ohio State University created videos and "a series of fact sheets that cover all key aspects of on-farm solar energy development" to assist farmers and others in agribusiness determine if solar energy is right for their operation.

USDA. Office of the Chief Economist.

This April 2011 report from the USDA provides an "overview of solar energy use by farmers and ranchers in the U.S. that identifies trends and future potential."

DOE. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Covers topics including concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, solar heating, solar lighting, financial opportunities, implementation programs, current news and events. Publications include the Farmer's Guide to Going Solar.

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

This series of lessons is designed for farmers that would like to increase the energy efficiency of their farm and processes. It features tutorials on farm building efficiency, outdoor lighting, irrigation efficiency, solar, small-scale wind, and biodiesel. This tutorial includes the following lessons: Introduction to Energy EfficiencyFarm Building EfficiencyIrrigation EfficiencySolar ElectricitySmall Scale Wind, and Biodiesel.

See also: Solar-Powered Livestock Watering Systems.

University of Massachusetts.

Information about the design and building of a small commercial greenhouse consistent with some "green" design goals of energy efficiency, longevity, affordability and minimally polluting systems and materials.

USDA. ARS. Conservation and Production Research Laboratory.

Helps farmers and landowners select a stand-alone solar photovoltaic system for water pumping. Steps include deciding whether a wind or solar water pumping system would be best, determining the type of PV module, how controller can affect the decision, selecting pump type, and analyzing the monthly water demand requirement.