Solar energy panels

The sun's light and heat can supply usable power such as heat or electricity. Find information about solar energy technologies, ongoing research, policies and programs.

Solar Energy Use in U.S. Agriculture (PDF | 3.43 MB)

USDA. Office of the Chief Economist.

This April 2011 report from the USDA provides an "overview of solar energy use by farmers and ranchers in the U.S. that identifies trends and future potential."

Determining the Optimum Solar Water Pumping System for Domestic Use, Livestock Watering or Irrigation (PDF | 343 KB)

USDA. ARS. Conservation and Production Research Laboratory.

Helps farmers and landowners select a stand-alone solar photovoltaic system for water pumping. Steps include deciding whether a wind or solar water pumping system would be best, determining the type of PV module, how controller can affect the decision, selecting pump type, and analyzing the monthly water demand requirement.

Solar Energy Applications for Farms and Ranches

DOE. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Discusses the use of space and water heating for farm buildings, greenhouse heating, electricity for farm and ranch equipment and crop and grain drying.

Exploring Ways to Use Solar Energy

DOE. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Covers topics including photovoltaics, passive solar technologies and design, solar hot water, heating and lighting for consumer homes.

SunShot Initiative

DOE. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Covers topics including concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, solar heating, solar lighting, financial opportunities, implementation programs, current news and events.

Farm Energy Alternatives

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Includes a section on solar energy with success stories, links, and selected publications such as Solar-Powered Livestock Watering Systems.

Florida Solar Energy Center

University of Central Florida.

Publications and other information sources on solar energy education, effect on the environment and building, photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies.

The "Green" Greenhouse

Information about the design and building of a small commercial greenhouse consistent with some "green" design goals of energy efficiency, longevity, affordability and minimally polluting systems and materials.