Growing Crops and Energy: Why Policymakers are Essential to Overcoming Barriers
Hosted by the MLC Midwest-Canada Energy Subcommittee and MLC Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
We have found that it is helpful to discuss policies at the intersection of energy and agriculture. The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, in cooperation with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, assisted in developing this program.
The meeting focused on the issues related to distributed generation, especially electricity that is generated by farmers and in rural areas. These small-scale projects are for use close to where the energy is produced. Distributed solar generation has been growing along with utility-scale solar. According to a report in Renewable Energy World last fall, small-scale solar grew by 19 percent in the previous year and was responsible for nearly a third of all the electricity generated by solar.
Speakers discussed some of the barriers to small-scale solar installations – such as certain net-metering rules, connecting to the grid, and tax and land use issues – and how they overcame these challenges.