Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



U.S. Farmers Benefit from Federal Clean Energy Loans and Grants

USDA distributes federal loans and grants for renewable energy and efficiency upgradesWhile some members of Congress seem to think that spending federal dollars on local projects is a bad thing, hundreds of farmers and rural business owners are eagerly taking the opportunity to improve their operations through federal clean energy loans and grants totalling more than $30 million. The funds, administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will pay for 516 projects that install renewable energy equipment and improve energy efficiency at agricultural operations.

USDA and Rural Renewable Energy

The USDA has already been making waves through its AgStar program, which promotes the installation of biogas equipment at livestock farms. The new round of loans and grants is coming through the agency’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP – clever, right?). REAP expands the renewable energy field in agriculture to include a large number of solar installations, along with wind turbines, biomass and even geothermal. The projects also include a large number of equipment upgrades to improve energy efficiency, convert old diesel equipment to electric and install new lighting.

Grain Dryers – Who Knew?

One big item in the list of 516 projects turns out to be the replacement of old grain dryers with more energy efficient equipment. If you’re a city person like me you probably never though much about grain dryers, but apparently they can take quite a big chunk out of a farm’s utility bills. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, grain dryers are used primarily for shelled corn that is stored on site. In the past, natural gas and other fossil fuels were used for hot-air drying, but more modern equipment relies on ambient air temperature. NSAIS also notes that solar technology may be a good alternative for grain drying at small and medium sized farms.

Image: Wind turbines on a farm by bobistraveling on

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.


You May Also Like


This article is copublished with Ambrook Research as part of a series that looks at ways the 2023 Farm Bill can help address the...


The Colorado River runs 1,450 miles and serves 40 million people across 7 western US states. It reaches tribal lands and continues on into...

Clean Transport

It’s been said before: manufacturers can make the best electric vehicles in the world, but if the salespeople can’t explain them (or, worse, don’t...


Drones are changing the ground under our feet. Their game-changing use in warfare has been highlighted by Russia’s murderous invasion of Ukraine, but they...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.