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Energy efficiency and renewable energy

Opportunities for agriculture

solar panels
Major opportunities exist for Oregon agriculture in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Oregon farms and ranches create many potential feedstocks to generate energy and fuels, and can also develop energy facilities such as solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, small hydropower facilities, and geothermal systems. A variety of tools and practices are available to producers to reduce energy use and costs. Technologies and incentives for renewable energy and energy conservation are improving.
ODA report about energy and agriculture in Oregon
Oregon farmers and ranchers have made many energy efficiency improvements, and some have even installed renewable energy projects. However, many opportunities remain. An Oregon Department of Agriculture report published in 2011 describes the types of projects that farmers and ranchers have installed, identifies existing resources to help farmers and ranchers complete these projects, and suggests strategies to promote greater energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption in agriculture. It is important to note that some of the incentive programs referenced in the report have changed or expired since it was published.
Download the report (2.1 MB pdf)

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Energy information for growers

The Oregon Department of Energy administers several state energy incentive programs and provides information about energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities.
USDA-Rural Development provides grants and guaranteed loans for a variety of energy projects.
DSIRE USA maintains a database of federal and state incentives for energy projects.
Energy Trust of Oregon provides incentives and support for a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Eligible projects must be in most cases located in or deliver power to the service territories of Portland General Electric or Pacific Power.
Bonneville Power Administration provides rebates for a variety of energy efficiency projects to customers within its service territories.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site includes a wide variety of energy-related publications, success stories, and links.
A variety of agricultural and energy publications are available on the eXtension Web site Farm Energy page. This site is part of a collaborative effort by land grant universities to share research-based knowledge on a variety of topics, including energy. Publications available on the site include selecting and maintaining greenhouse thermostats, cooling and ventilating systems in animal housing, and efficient lighting.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has published a bulletin called Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables. The bulletin features SARE-funded research and gives examples of farmers who are improving energy efficiency while saving money, implementing farming practices that both save energy and protect natural resources, and producing and using renewable fuels.
The Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program is part of WSU’s Extension Service and provides a variety of energy services, products, and information.
25 X ’25 is a broad coalition of business, conservation, and government representatives who share the following vision: by 2025, America's farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed and fiber. The Oregon Department of Agriculture supports and shares the 25 X ’25 vision.

Harvesting Clean Energy is a project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The Harvesting Clean Energy Web site includes energy efficiency and renewable energy resources for farmers and ranchers. It also includes information about the next Harvesting Clean Energy conference, which rotates around the Pacific Northwest.

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For more information about energy opportunities in agriculture, contact:
Matt Krumenauer, Senior Policy Analyst
Oregon Department of Energy
(503) 378-6043

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