There has been an increased focus on sustainability in many aspects of undergraduate STEM education in the past decade. Ultimately driven by accelerating climate change, this has come alongside increased investment in renewable energy technologies and a recognition that sustainability can be incorporated into many aspects of our lives. In introductory physics, I saw an opportunity to incorporate ideas of renewable energy into my unit on energy. I have developed several problems that center renewable energy and sustainable agriculture while teaching ideas about conservation of energy, efficiency, power, and fluid flow. I present those problems here and discuss associated challenges with implementation, as well as ways to incorporate discussions of sustainability when using these problems.

Increased focus on renewable energy and sustainability is evident in the National Science Foundation’s establishment of a program on Environmental Sustainability.1 Correspondingly, there has been growing focus on renewable energy in The Physics Teacher...

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