Energy prices are sky-rocketing. As we all scramble to minimize our energy costs over the next several months, it might be time to consider alternative means to reduce costs in the long term. Below are links to several fact sheets that outline various alternative technologies that could be useful in reducing long-term farm-energy costs and to minimize exposure to price surges in non-renewable fuel sector.
Agricultural Applications of Solar Energy Solar energy can supply and/or supplement many farm energy requirements. The US Department of Energy provides a brief discussion of a few applications of solar energy technologies in agriculture. Below is a link to a list of publications that deal.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
The fact sheet (link below) provides an overview of how a geothermal heat pump (GHP) can provide an energy-efficient way to heat and cool homes, farm structures and other buildings. A GHP system can be installed in virtually any area of the country. While residential GHP systems are usually more expensive initially to install than other heating and cooling systems, their greater efficiency means the investment can be recouped in two to ten years. After that, energy and maintenance costs are much less than conventional heating and air-conditioning systems.
Higher initial costs of the system can be a deterrent to adoption. However, the 2005 Energy Bill passed by the US Congress contains tax incentives that can be used to defer the additional cost burden.