Since the start of the trade war between the US and China, there have been many people affected by the dispute, but small farmers have been bearing the brunt of it. The tit-for-tat tariffs applied by both countries to each other’s goods have cut demand for American crops, putting many small producers in dire straits.
Now, US farmers are embracing an alternative means of turning sunlight into revenue: solar power. Solar panels are being installed across the Farm Belt for personal and external use, where growers are struggling to make ends meet.
Farmers have two options for adding solar power on their farms: lease land for energy companies to generate power to funnel electricity into the grid or install their own solar panels to cut their electricity bills. Both methods can amount to more than $1,000 a month in the farmer’s pocket, thus improving many farmers’ income streams.
Take, for example, Steve Nightingale, a corn and soybean farmer who recently installed solar panels on one of his fields. Thanks to the installation, Steve didn’t have to pay a penny for the electricity needed to run his farming equipment for four straight months.
Such instances offer a glimpse of just how much there is to gain from the green energy transition, apart, of course, from ensuring a safer and healthier environment for all of us.