Growing our Energy Future: Solutions from the Land
American’s farms, ranches and forests-our working lands-are well positioned to make significant contributions to the development and implementation of new energy solutions. Long known and respected for their contributions to providing the nation’s food and fiber, an emerging opportunity exists for crop, livestock and grass and horticultural producers, as well as forest land owners, to become major producers of another essential commodity-energy.
Consider these facts:
- The current petroleum-based energy paradigm is no longer sustainable.
- Our nation and the world are looking for new energy solutions.
- Energy, economic development, national security and environmental quality are inextricably linked.
Corn and soybean producers have shown how the agricultural sector can become modern-day energy providers. However, America’s farms, ranches and forestlands are playing a much larger role in providing renewable forms of energy. “Home grown” energy solutions offer tremendous potential for producers, landowners and processors to capture income; for rural communities to prosper; and for the nation to lessen its dependence on foreign oil. Through emerging technology, farmers, ranchers and woodland owners are:
- Producing biomass and turning plant residues, processing byproducts and animal wastes into value-added energy feedstocks and biobased products.
- Generating electricity by harnessing wind and solar energy, capturing and converting biogas emissions, and producing biomass
- Dramatically increasing the production of liquid transportation fuels
National agricultural and forestry leaders have been working to promote the 25x’25 vision and have formed the 25x’25 Alliance. For more information on this group, please visit www.25×25.org/about.
To find out more about renewable energy resources, please visit our Why Renewables page.