Reference Type: Electronic Resource
Title: Renewable Energy from Farms: Building on the Principles of Sustainable Agriculture to Achieve Sustainable Energy
Primary Authors: Nelson,Carl;Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Published: Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Abstract: America's energy policy has once again come under close scrutiny. Heightened national security concerns have revealed the vulnerability of our highly centralized electricity system, as well as the necessity of reducing our reliance on foreign sources of oil. The burning of fossil fuels for electric power and transportation is also resulting in enormous environmental and health costs ΓÇô emissions from fossil fuels are the primary cause of global warming, and a major contributor to mercury deposition in our lakes. The evidence is continuing to mount on the damage of particulate matter emissions, with one estimate of 30,000 deaths per year from US power plants.1 Concerns about terrorist threats on nuclear power plants, not to mention the problems with nuclear waste transport and permanent storage, make this an unsavory option for meeting our future electrical energy needs. Reducing fossil fuel dependence is the challenge of our generation. This challenge is one of political will, because we have the technological ability to economically and significantly reduce our emissions, as numerous government-sponsored studies have shown.2 In some cases, renewable energy is cost-competitive with fossil-based sources of energy even without including environmental benefits. In other cases, cost competitiveness is years away, but still possible (especially if environmental costs and benefits are included in the calculation). For these technologies, policy initiatives will be necessary for stimulating their development.
Ag Matters Catalog ID: 368