DW-World.DE has a pretty interesting article about a town in southern Germany that is producing more power than it uses. The farmers in Freiamt, a town of around 4,500 people near the Black Forest, have put up windmills, installed solar panels, and used the extra warmth that’s created when their cows’ milk is cooled to heat water, in order to produce far more power than the town actually needs. Some farms have moved away from conventional farming and have instead converted their farms in to renewable energy power plants, where generators produce excess power from the burning of linquid dung and organic raw materials such as rapeseed and grass.
Alot of this is driven by the fact that German utilities are required by law to buy power from renewable sources at fixed prices. These laws have given farms that security they need in order to spend the upfront investment to convert their farms