Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy

The Basics

SARE Outreach

Producing on-farm energy can improve sustainability in many ways, such as by lowering energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We've provided overview information on strategies that can provide your farm or ranch with alternative energy from plant and animal-waste sources, solar power, and wind power.

Cover image of Clean Energy Farming

Clean Energy Farming

Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables features innovative SARE-funded research and 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. Download File (2.54 MB)  | Online Text Version

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E3A Energy Efficiency and Alternatives

E3A provides free downloadable fact sheets, links to resources, and more on the topics of anaerobic digesters, biodiesel, farm energy, home energy, micro-hydro, small wind, solar electricity and solar hot water.


Farm Energy IQ

Farm Energy IQ offers free information to help farmers enhance operational sustainability in the context of the farm economy and ecosystem. Each topic area includes a module overview, Train the Trainer presentation, farmer presentation, and educational materials such as fact sheets, activities, case studies, images, decision support tools, and checklists.

People making biofuel at a workshop

Sustainable Bioenergy Course

In association with an NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant, the Bioenergy Training Center, in collaboration with the Farm Energy CoP, has developed a Sustainable Bioenergy Course to provide educational training resources focused not only on the technical feasibility of bioenergy generation, but also on approaches and processes that assist communities in understanding the comprehensive implications of bio-based alternative energy. This course can provide foundational materials for teaching undergraduates or for community education sessions.


Powering Your Farm Off-the-Grid

Is it possible to operate a farm off-the-grid, and what are the challenges and opportunities? Raymond Luhrman will take you on a virtual tour of Fox Creek Farm and describe how his family operates their 350 member  Community Supported Agriculture operation from electricity produced right on site. This webinar is part of the New Generation Energy Webinar Series, partially funded by the Northeast SARE's New York Professional Development Program.

The Sustainability of Biofuel Fact Sheet Series

A stand of switchgrass

This 18-part series addresses topics related to the sustainability of biofuel production, including biodiversity, greenhouse gas reductions, life cycle analysis and more. Published:

Additional Resources

The following resources, which were not funded or produced by SARE, contain valuable information.

Biofuels and biomass calculators (from ATTRA's collection, Farm Energy Calculators: Tools for saving money on the farm)

ATTRA/NCAT - Farm Energy Alternatives: Videos, publications, links

USDA National Agricultural Library - Energy: Links to resources on alternative energy sources including wind, sun, water and energy crops