Green Energy Business Information Bundle for Farmers

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Green Energy?
  2. Green Energy Opportunities on the Farm
  3. Benefits of Going Green
  4. State of the Industry in Ontario
  5. Using This Site

What Is Green Energy?

Green energy is a clean, sustainable approach to producing and using the energy that contributes to Ontario's high standard of living. It encompasses:

  1. Renewable energy, which comes from naturally replenished sources such as the wind and sun
  2. Measures to reduce energy use through greater efficiency and conservation

As global supplies of oil, coal and natural gas shrink and as climate change becomes an increasingly important environmental concern, green energy is clearly the way of the future.

Green Energy Opportunities on the Farm

The agricultural sector is a natural focus for green energy initiatives. Already, many farmers are generating renewable electricity through wind, biogas, solar and micro-hydro systems.

Others are capturing energy from the ground and using it for heating and cooling, or growing energy crops that can be used to heat buildings or fuel vehicles. Still others are saving energy by making good decisions, installing more efficient equipment and creating less energy waste.

Benefits of Going Green

Green energy benefits all Ontarians by reducing air pollution and curbing the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change, but there are also good business reasons to conserve energy or install a renewable energy system.

Using less energy saves you money – a direct benefit to your bottom line. If you generate your own electrical energy as well, you may actually be able to earn revenue by selling it to the power grid, or you can protect yourself from power blackouts by opting for a stand-alone, "off-grid" system.

Should you choose to grow energy crops, you're diversifying your markets, creating a hedge against fluctuating prices.

Finally, if parts of your farm aren't hooked up to the power grid, renewable energy offers a very viable alternative to diesel generators as a source of electricity.

State of the Industry in Ontario

Ontario is aiming to become a leader in renewable energy and to create a culture of conservation across the province. The government has set a goal of increasing our installed renewable capacity from 8,600 MW in 2008 to 15,000 MW by 2025.

With plenty of untapped potential, along with many financial programs to encourage green energy, there's no shortage of opportunities to contribute to Ontario's energy future.

Using This Site

This Business Information Bundle serves as a central website for information about green energy on your farm, whether you're looking for ways to conserve energy or to generate it yourself.

Begin by browsing the Getting Started page for general points to keep in mind, then turn to Energy Conservation for ways to reduce your energy usage – a savvy move in its own right, and a smart first step before installing a renewable energy system.

If you're keen to generate your own energy and you've already decided on the type of system you want, your next stop should be the page describing that particular technology. Otherwise, browse through the different technology pages to find out which form of renewable energy best fits your situation.

Finally, the Financial Programs page provides a guide to available funding programs, tax rebates and other financial incentives to go green.

Puzzled by renewable energy jargon? Check the Alberta government's online glossary.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 22 April 2009
Last Reviewed: 07 June 2011