Energy runs all that we and our fellow planetary inhabitants do. The past two centuries have been transformed by accessing fossil energy (“stored sunlight”) from coal, oil, and natural gas. The challenge for our future is to shift to renewable forms of energy that have a lower environmental footprint than most current sources. Most forms of agriculture, like most parts of our culture and economy, is highly reliant on fossil energy for machinery, nutrients, irrigation, processing, storage, and transport. Farms have the potential to run more on “current solar income” by producing renewable fuels from sources such as oilseeds, plant biomass and manure; already the sun drives photosynthesis in plants. CSANR has been supporting research and development on several farm-based energy resources as well as improving energy use efficiency.
- Anaerobic Digestion (biogas)
- Biochar (pyrolysis)