I Have a Dream… of Growing Renewable Energy Cash Crop
- Aug 25, 2019 4:18 pm GMT
- 217 views
The sunshine and green fields inspire me to dream of a world powered by renewable energy. A world where man harnesses natural bounties- sunlight and wind to meet his energy needs in a sustainable manner with minimum environmental damage.
I dream of thousands of #microgrids, superimposed over entire electric transmission and distribution network. Feeding surplus energy into, and at times feeding off the electric grid ensuring reliability, resiliency and #EnergySecurity at cost competitive price point.
And if you are thinking good luck with finding the land for producing cheap electricity, getting interconnections, and dealing with #NIMBY (Not in My Backyard). Read on…
As per U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1/3rd of land area in contiguous United States or 630 million acres of land out of 1.9 billion acres is used as pastureland for cattle or livestock and another 150 million acres is used for growing food to feed the livestock.
USDA also reports 69% of all farms (small, medium and large family farms, and multiple owner non-farms) running at less than 10% profitability, and only 20% of farms operating at 20% or higher profit margin.
Clearly these farms need a cash crop as side business to increase their profitability and for some to literally survive. And what better cash crop can serve them well than growing renewable energy microgrids on their property. Appropriately configured microgrid installations with #solar #wind #fuelcells #supercapacitors #batteries and onsite #HydrogenProduction and #HydrogenStorage can meet the farms entire energy demand, including electrification of farm vehicles, and opportunity to sell surplus energy to grid or local community. Using the curtailed, clipped, and surplus solar and wind energy for onsite hydrogen generation (via water electrolysis or some other technology) and in turn to run the fuel cell. The fuel cell-supercapacitor combination or battery-supercapacitor hybrid will deliver high energy and high power with minimal downtime. Of course, the ultimate choice of energy generators, conversion devices, and storage technologies for inclusion in any microgrid will be determined by geographic location, energy needs of the farm and value stacking and revenue generation opportunities.
In addition, onsite anaerobic digestors would repurpose manure to #biogas and fertilizer, thereby opening additional revenue stream via #WasteToEnergy route, not mentioning aiding #decarbonization and augmenting #EnergyEfficiency with #CHP (combined heat and power).
A countrywide distribution network of anaerobic digestors accompanied with gas, or steam turbines over thousands of farmlands can potentially replace gas peaking plants throughout the nation, delivering capacity and power year-round, all with acceptable capacity factor. The livestock would ensure reliable supply of raw material (manure) 😊.
Even 1% buy-in from pastureland owners would significantly increase renewable energy generation and #GHG emissions reduction. And with large enough participation, 100% renewable energy economy can become a ground reality.
#GreenBank #GreenNewDeal #GenerateCapital #CleanEnergyFinance care to fund this idea …??
@JigarShah would love your input... Thank you!
#ReformingEnergyVision #NYSERDA #NYISO #NationalGrid #Utilities #NewYorkGreenBank #Decarbonization #EnergyTransition