The rumors are true; agriculture has turned to solar energy as a new crop to lower operating costs as well as create an edge against rising energy prices. Together, the agriculture and energy industries are working hand in hand to cultivate and harvest solar energy. Although the basic idea of photosynthesis and the role it plays in plant survival is common knowledge, not many people realize how deeply solar energy is benefiting our farmers and their crops. In fact, it is safe to say the agriculture sector would not be surviving today without solar energy.
The benefits of solar energy can be felt from your home garden all the way up through commercially owned fields. However, these benefits reach much farther than just produce for modern farmers. A few key benefits of bringing solar power into the agriculture industry include:
- Getting small, rural farmers off the grid to save money and operating costs
- Allowing remote pumping of water for irrigation
- Providing the option to use solar-powered farm machinery
- Dispensing much needed power to farmers and residents
For the agriculture sector, solar energy is proving to be the bread and butter of their crops. Due to their ease of setup, solar farms are becoming much more commonplace than they once were. Because they thrive in large, clear fields, solar farms are able to flourish naturally and cost effectively.
Solar energy continues to infuse itself into the lifeblood of the agriculture sector, but also for energy companies as well. When the sun shines, solar panels generate enough energy to power hundreds of homes. In many cases, solar farms are replacing cropland that doesn’t generate enough income from traditional farming. Other times, solar farms are being placed on vacant industrial sites or land that hasn’t grown crops in years.
In an effort to grow solar energy’s popularity among farmers, one state is even offering incentives to entice farmers to switch from agriculture to solar. North Carolina is offering generous tax incentives to farmers in addition to instituting a law in 2007 that require power companies to use some renewable energy. The law requires that the utility companies must provide up to 12.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources. This has created a boom not only in the number of farms converting, but also in the number of jobs created. Over 15,000 people are now holding jobs as a result of renewable energy in North Carolina. The state’s proactive initiatives are a key factor in earning them high marks as one of the most solar-friendly states.
The benefits of solar power have led to an increased demand for it, in turn, leading to increased production, and more jobs becoming available. What was once viewed as a pipe dream has now become the key to sustainability for many American workers. If you are interested in learning more about solar energy careers, contact the experts at FootBridge Energy today!