Renewable Energy on the Farm
About the Project
As Vermont farmers have faced the growing impacts of climate change while still confronting the volatility of fossil fuel prices, many have developed an interest in renewable energy produced on the farm, In 2006, the Center sought to develop an understanding of whether farms in Vermont and the Northeast region could derive an economic benefit from developing cost-effective on-farm energy sources.
To help explore this, the Center worked with partners across the state to develop and collect information that can help farmers evaluate the use of renewable energy. We partnered with our UVM Extension colleagues, and with farmers and other organizations across the state to conduct on-farm research and demonstration aimed at growing and processing oil-seed and sugar-producing crops for production of biodiesel.
Working with the Gund Institute and the Vermont Alternative Energy Corporation, the Center surveyed dairy farmers about their interest in growing and processing biodiesel crops. A model was developed to better understand the economic conditions and business structures under which an agriculturally-supported biodiesel industry could be developed in Vermont. Download the 2007 Oilseed Report to see its results.
The results of this initial work are in the 2006 report on On-Farm Oil Seed Production and Processing. Additionally, the 2006 Annual Report from Vermont’s Sustainable Agriculture Council summarized alternative energy enhancement activities then underway in Vermont.
Since then, many other Vermont farms and organizations have been involved in studying the opportunities and obstacles associated with on-farm biofuel production, often with funding from the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Biofuels Initiative.
Links to on-farm energy resources and research in Vermont & the Northeast
- Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund report on feasibility of a mobile oilseed/biodiesel production unit for Vermont
- Farm Energy Innovation in Vermont: 2008 report to the Sustainable Agriculture Council by Ed Delhagen
- Vermont's Local Food Landscape: Ginger Nickerson, Ph.D., 2008
- Climate Change & Northeast Agriculture
- Cornell's Grass Bioenergy Information
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets' Energy Page
- Renewable Energy Vermont
- Political Economy and Ecology of Biofuels, Monthly Review article by Fred Magdoff
- Biofuel at Stateline Farm
- UVM Extension's NW Crops & Soils Team's Oilseeds Page Bioenergy in Central European Cultural Landscapes: Dr. Tobias Plieninger's presentation at UVM, November 19, 2008
- Solar Water Pump for Farms (2012 article by Chris Callahan, UVM Extension Ag. Engineer and Ben Waterman, New Farmer Project Coordinator
- The energy enhancement section of the 2007 Annual Report from the Sustainable Agriculture Council focused specifically on an update on-farm production, use and policy development for biodiesel as a biofuel in Vermont at that time.
Links to national and international on-farm energy resources and research
- 25x25 seeks to have 25% of America's energy needs met by renewably produced farm and forest resources.
- International Institute for Sustainable Development: Climate Change & Energy Topics
- National Renewable Energy Lab
- Biodiesel Magazine
- Anaerobic Digestion of Manure
Jenn Colby, Pasture Program Coordinator, 802-656-0858 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified October 31 2013 11:05 AM