Total number of farms producing renewable energy across the US was 133,176 farms.

Renewable energy producing systems

These types of systems produce power, heat, or mechanical energy by converting resources either to electricity or to motor power.

  • Bio-diesel production systems. Data are for production of non-petroleum based diesel fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats. Bio-diesel can be used alone or blended with conventional petroleum-based diesel fuel.
  • Ethanol production systems. A fuel produced by converting crops such as corn and sugarcane, biomass crops, or wood. This fuel is generally blended with gasoline. Production of ethanol for fuel requires a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Only ethanol production for fuel was reported.
  • Geothermal/geoexchange system. A system that uses temperatures from the earth to reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling.
  • Methane digesters. It is a device which captures bio-gas resulting from the decomposition of manure, processing by-products, and other materials. Harvested bio-gas is used as a substitute for natural gas to power engines which generate electricity. It is fed into the natural gas pipeline or flared. Methane digesters were reported only if in production and used in 2017.
  • Small hydro system. A water driven system, which produces electricity, by the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It excludes water driven systems that only provide mechanical power, such as turning a grinding stone for a flour mill.
  • Solar panels. A flat panel designed to capture the sun’s energy. Includes photo-voltaic systems, which convert light from the sun into electricity, and thermal systems that passively generate electricity.
  • Wind turbines. A device which converts wind power into electricity. Includes wind generators, wind power units, wind energy converters, and aero-generators. Excludes windmills, which do not produce electricity.
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