California farms and ranches now contribute more than 20 percent of the United States’ investment in renewable energy use, according to a post by National Agricultural Statistics Service Deputy Director Sarah Hoffman. Specifically, those renewables include solar, wind and methane digester (landfill) gas processing, to name a few.
As Hoffman notes, there are now 1,956 California farms generating electricity from renewable energy sources like solar and wind. California also captured the lion’s share of federal funding for these installations, or 282 out of a total of 1,101. Runner up is Pennsylvania, with 52 farms using federal money to install their solar, wind or methane digester units.
In California, where all things “green” find a welcome reception, solar has long been a force to be reckoned with in overall energy production. In February, the state Legislature boldly announced a Clean Energy Jobs Initiative. This, at a time when the nation as a whole seems to be backing away from the entire clean energy scenario like a parent facing an incorrigibly delinquent teenager.
It is good to know that at least one state is behind President Barack Obama’s clean energy economy. In fact, several states share the honor, but California is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of agricultural solar installed, with more than 50 percent of all farm-based solar photovoltaic energy systems within its borders.
Nationwide, renewable energy installations have swelled by 800 percent during the last decade, a sure sign that the train wreck of Republican-dominated clean energy policy in the House – and in state governments nationwide – may be acute, but that’s not the same as being chronic.
Shine on, solar America!
Photo Credit: Patrick Finnegan via Flickr CC