Explainer | How wind energy can help increase farmers’ income, minimize cost

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It is no secret that wind energy is one of the frontrunners of the technological breakthroughs. A growing number of farmers and agri-businesses are now looking to this inexhaustible source of energy to make electricity to power their operations.

Wind energy, no doubt, presents a huge potential for not only agricultural irrigation but also farmers’ incomes as well. Thanks to the ongoing R&D and fast-paced technological advancements, the cost of wind energy has decreased dramatically, enabling more installations across the world.

How are farmers in a unique position to benefit?

• In order to benefit from wind power, farmers can allow developers to install large wind turbines on their land in return for annual lease payments, a single up-front payment, or a combination of these.

For instance, the royalties are usually around $500 to $5,000 per year in the United States for each turbine, depending on its size. As a result, such payments can provide a sense of security by stabilizing farmers’ income that could help them offset variations in commodity prices.

• Farmers can generate their own power from the wind, such as they can install small-wind generators in order to meet the needs of an entire farm. In many parts of Europe, many farmers use wind generators to pump water for livestock.

• Another opportunity for a farmer or group of farmers is to become a wind developer who produces power to sell to others.

Amid rising energy insecurity in some underdeveloped countries, companies increasingly purchase power from independent producers rather than generating it themselves. Moreover, several governments provide incentives too for wind power development.

In short, wind energy is one of the most vital renewable sources of energy that has huge potential to benefit the agriculture sector. The coexistence of wind turbines and agriculture presents a number of positive outcomes.