Renewable energy: SolarEnergy for Oregon Farming operations1) Introduction Agriculture has evolved since the Stone Age periodwhere early man used hand tools to do farming to the new era of using moderntools and technology (Leal-Arcas, & Minas, 2016). In Oregon, farmers areconsidered as the stewards of their native land, and it is their responsibilityto conserve and preserve their land’s natural resources for the purpose of thegenerations to come. To preserve this heritage for the future generations, theyhave to incorporate new technology, and that has escalated energy costs,creating a huge challenge for Oregon’s producers in balancing profitability andproductivity in land stewardship (Chan, 2006). In recent years, Oregon has beencommitted to development of clean energy capitals and gone to an extent ofpreparing a decade plan to achieve such goals. Clean energy will aid inlowering costs and offer a more predictable working environment for all farmerswhile at the same time, conserving the natural resources.
This proposal is intended to provide an alternativesource of power to Oregon farmers and scale up their profits to help themachieve the goal of preserving their resources for the future generations. Allfarming operations ranging from planting to crop management, reaping anddistribution rely heavily on the amount of energy input in the operations. Dueto these vast operations, there is an automatic increase in the amount ofenergy used and that affects the cost of fuel, electricity and fertilizer(Wu?stenhagen, & Menichetti, 2012). The central point is the amount of electricityused in farming operations that it is incorporated in providing power forlighting, irrigating, processing, ventilation and cooling, just to mention afew. Oregon has the privilege of abundance of hydro power and that has madeelectricity bills to be low in the best parts of United States. However, Oregon has been hit with high electricity bills due toclimatic changes and natural catastrophes and that means increased cost ofproduction to farmers. 2) Rising cost of energy inputs Between 2002 and 2007, Oregon’s utility, fertilizersand fuel expenditure jumped to 62 percent as compared to expenses in farmingthat rose to 34 percent.
The increased cost has made farmers to have adifficult time in predicting accurately the profits and expenses. Producers onthe other hand, have to constantly commit resources spearheaded to covering theenergy costs needed to uphold all agricultural operations. Despite theincreased costs of energy affecting farmers and producers, they also complicatesthe process of deploying on-farm power projects. Considering the above implications of the rising costof energy, especially to farmers, there is the need of incorporating other formsof renewable energy that will act as auxiliary sources of energy instead offully depending on electricity (Ca?rdenas, Hascic, Johnstone, Silva, , 2014). In this proposal, we advocate for the use solar power to generateelectricity use for home appliances and farming operations with the aim ofreducing the energy costs and increasing profits.Solar power is considered as clean energy that doesnot require the burning of fossil fuels which cause pollution.
On the otherhand, it cannot be depleted, as long as we have the sun energy will beproduced. The initial cost of this project can be overwhelming while doing itin large production, but it gives good returns considering that it requiresminimal maintenance once the solar panels have been installed.Thankyou for your consideration. Following soon is a detailed report of the projectproposal on solar power. 1Renewable energy: SolarEnergy for Oregon Farming operations 3) Solar Power: The Remedy for Rising Cost of Production for Oregon Famers3.1) Are fossil fuels a challenge?For many years, fossil fuels havebeen used to generate electricity and that came with the discovery of coal. Coalis a mineral that is mined and burned or roasted to produce different types offuel such as petroleum and diesel among others.
Coal, just like othernon-renewable sources of energy, is depleting with time due to the high demandof energy connected to the increased number of energy consuming industries(Harinarayana, Vasavi, & Sharma, 2014). Depletion of coal has led toincreased cost of electricity and increased the production cost andmarginalized the profits. Coming up with an alternative source of power canbring about predictable results. 3.
2) Solar renewable technologiesThere different modes of solar powertechnologies and this project is focusing on: Solar Photovoltaic and Solar HotWater. Solar Photovoltaic Figure 1Solar photovoltaic (PV) areincorporated to convert sunlight into usable electricity for business use ofhome appliances. They are designed in a way that when the sunrays hit the solarpanel array as illustrated in the above diagram (Figure 1). They generate directcurrent electricity commonly known as DC power. In this type of connection, thegenerated DC power flows to the inverter where it is converted to alternatingcurrent (AC) that is consumable for domestic or industrial use. In cases whereall the electricity generated is not fully used for home appliances, it is fed to the utility grid through the utilitymeter where it can be stepped up for more utility like in industries. Solar hot water This another type of solar power inthat the heat from the sun is used to generate power by the use of solarpanels.
The generated power is used to boil water which can be used for severaluses like: driving steam turbines or steam engines. A typical setting thesystem is as illustrated in the above diagram (Figure 2). Energy from the solarpanel is directed bypassed through a controller and later to the heating coilsand a pump to the boiler where water is heated to the required temperature (Boxwell, 2017). All this is done in an enclosedcompartment to avoid energy losses to the atmosphere and to maintain acontinuous heat gradient. 4) Energy storage andoff-grid livingSolar energy is absent during thenight and present in daytime hours. Due to this limitation, there is the needof having storage elements like the use of batteries to store energy during theday that is intended for night hours. Such batteries act as back-up plan forsolar energy users in case the grid goes down.5) Financial incentives and project budgetThe initial cost of installation of thesolar system for Oregon farmers can be a considerable and that calls forinvestors and government to chip in and provide funds and grants to willingfarmers.
The encouraging factor is the low level of maintenance requires forsolar power systems.Budget of a Sample Solar PV ProjectProject name: Renewable energy for FarmersDeveloper: Modern FarmingLocation: Salem, OR Project Type: SolarProject Size: 8 kilowatt solar PV system with an estimate of9146kWh annuallyProject Cost: $48,000The project is to be financed by theOregon Federal tax credit and the Oregon energy department in form of grantsand, a rebate from the energy trust situated in Oregon. The remaining cost willbe self-financed. Project financing fromexternal bodiesFederal tax credit $14,500ODOE tax credit $10000Private financing $13400Energy trust of Oregon $10100Total cost $48000TimelineThe research for the proposed projectis estimated to last for 3.5 years.
In this period, there will be constructionof suitable areas to place the solar panels and security will be a major factorwhen selecting the location. Construction and instalment of utility grids andinstallation of connecting devices to various farms and homes will take about 2years. One year will be used to test the power generated by the system and ensure that it is workingsmoothly and in case of any adjustment, this will be the suitable moment. Thefinal six months will be for commissioning the project and declaring it a worthinvestment. 6) ConclusionSolar power energy, as seen in theproject report, gives a cheap and alternative source of power that farmers canincorporate not only on their farming activities but also in the domestic use.This does not call for a halt in the production of power by the use of fossilfuels but provides an alternative of helper in the provision of energy. Manyfarmers especially in rural areas see this as a brilliant idea but lack thecapital to initiate the process.
There is also the need for investors to takeheed of providing the expertise needed to educate people on how to operate themachinery designed for solar power to avoid damages or accidents. These aresome the factors that need to be taken into consideration before the project iscompleted and commissioned. In conclusion, incorporation of solar energy infarming is not a project proposed for Oregon farmers but can also beincorporated in rural areas where electricity is still lacking. Initialelectricity installation can be difficult especially in rural areas where thegeography is harsh like in valleys or mountain or rocky areas where naturalcatastrophes are rampant. This will ensure farmers have access to energy inlower cost as compared to use of fossil fuels or wind power that is fluctuatingand unreliable.