California is the largest agricultural producer in the United States, followed by Iowa and Texas. The top three agricultural commodities produced in California are milk, almonds, and grapes. California is also the primary exporter of many agricultural commodities in the United States and supplies over 99% of the following commodities: almonds, artichokes, dates, raisins, and walnuts. The crop varieties grown in California are constantly fluctuating based on consumer demand, market prices, and weather restrictions. In 2015, California generated $47 billion in revenue from agriculture commodities, down from $56 billion in 2014.
One of the biggest challenges in the agriculture industry in California is water availability. California experiences recurring droughts, which cause significant strain on the agriculture industry. With challenges come opportunities for unique solutions, which is where energy and water efficiency come into play.
In recent years, the Alliance has conducted multiple studies with an agriculture focus to target the many challenges faced by the agriculture sector in California. For example, in January of 2016 the Alliance published a report called New Opportunities for Energy Efficiency in California Agriculture. The key opportunities include greenhouse retrocommissioning, rebates for condensing boilers for soil warming, post-harvest processing audits, greenhouse-specific rebates, and water treatment and recycling.
In November of 2016, the Alliance released the Urban Agriculture Guidebook, which identified energy efficiency opportunities for urban farms in Los Angeles. The agriculture industry in California is constantly evolving, and the Alliance aims to keep a pulse on the challenges, best practices, and opportunities for energy and water efficiency.