Rising energy costs could be the end for vertical farms

Rising energy costs could be the end for vertical farms

BOSTON - With their ability to fully control growing environments through LEDs, sensors, and HVAC systems, vertical farms achieve great control over the quality and consistency of their crop. However, this degree of control comes at a cost, a very literal one. Vertical farms are notoriously power-hungry and require large amounts of energy to operate. These energy costs often form one of, if not the largest part, of their operational expenditure. Even before rising energy prices, many vertical farms have already found it challenging to achieve profitability due to the high costs of operation; with dramatic increases in the cost of energy, this could be the final nail in the coffin for many vertical farms. The IDTechEx report ' ' explores the economic and technological factors shaping this rapidly growing industry.

Vertical farms use a combination of sensors, HVACs, and lighting systems to maintain a controlled environment. Source: IDTechEx –“Vertical Farming 2022-2032”

So What Can Be Done?

Over the short term, there is an immediate need for vertical farms to decouple themselves from the price of gas. This could be achieved through increased reliance on renewable energy sources, such as through greater integration of photovoltaics, which may be possible through direct connections to solar farms. Alternatively, local biomass boilers could potentially alleviate energy costs by making use of waste wood generated from manufacturing or maintenance. Increasing the use of renewable energy may require significant capital investment but would provide greater cost efficiencies over the longer term.

Continue reading.

Photo by Petr Magera on Unsplash

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