Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on renewable electricity : innovation and integration into farming. Introduction of innovative renewable energy resources are necessary to tackle the issue of energy crisis and thereby meet mounting energy demands effectively. Nowadays, the practice of integration of renewable electricity into farming is common in Europe and some American countries. Each country has distinct policies concerning innovation and integration of renewable energy into farming. This paper will critically analyze the practice of using renewable electricity in farming activities by giving focus on its importance, pros and cons, challenges, and future status. Renewable electricity in farming: Canadian experiences The Canadian agriculture sector has successfully integrated renewable energy into its farming activities. The Canadian government has taken extensive initiatives including ERDAF (Energy Research and Development in Agriculture and Food) program to introduce renewable energy use in the country’s farming sector. The ERDAF program initially focused on research and development needs, energy production priorities, and utilization possibilities. The major objective of this program was to promote Canadian farmers’ self-sufficiency on energy. In the beginning phase, the program introduced renewable energy in 90 projects. This program specifically evaluated problems on resource assessment and liquid fuel production using biomass feedstock. It also considered solar and wind energy. The ERDAF program report indicates that it does not get much significance due to higher initial costs. However, it was identified that the biomass produced can be used for space heating or electricity generation (Integration Renewable Energy on Farms). It is concluded that development of cost effective and potential technologies is vital to promote integration of renewable energy into farming. The Building Canada Fund or simply BC Fund, which was set up under the 2007 Building Canada plan to finance projects from 2007 to 2014, offers financial assistance to Canadians who want to integrate renewable energy into their agricultural and agri-food farming operations. The Canadian government believes that this innovation would assist the country’s farmers to enhance their competitiveness. In the words of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, “adopting renewable technologies like wind turbines and geothermal heating will help ensure a sustainable future for farming and the environment” (qtd in Ministry of Agriculture). The government also thinks that this practice would assist farming firms to cut down energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and diversify their income sources. According to the Canadian policy, all qualified and potential participants will get governmental assistance to incorporate renewable energy into their existing farming activities. The Canadian government has created a set of tools including benchmarks, factsheets, sample implementation plans, and self-assessment tools to assist producers to choose best available technologies. The government has already designed a $475 million federal and provincial support and an additional $78 million non-business risk management programs for this renewable energy project (Ministry of Agriculture). Renewable energy integration into farming: Global situation The practice of integration of renewable electricity into farming has been gaining popularity across the globe for the last few years.


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