Last Friday a webinar took place on energy efficiency and the following topics were discussed:
- Current trends of energy prices and advancements in technologies.
- More energy = more costs and more emissions. Alternatives? Solutions?
- Future perspectives in response to climate change: will the gap between traditional horticulture and vertical farming fade away?
Jacopo Monzini (FAO) and Iride Ceccacci (EBRD)
- Marc Juarez, Vice Chair of the International Association for Vertical Farming (AVF)
- Benjamin Franchetti, PhD, Director of Technology, Agricola Moderna
- Joan Muñoz Liesa, PhD, Post-doc researcher at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Credit: The New Role For Urban Farming By The FAO & EBRD
With the current prices, many companies have had to review their plans and rethink their energy consumption in order to remain alive as margins narrowed over time. Indoor farming overall depends on energy to power its LED (especially for vertical and container farms), and HVAC air-conditioning to control the environment and ensure that the crops grow in ideal conditions.
Agritecture’s most recent report concluded that vertical farms used about 38.8 kWh per kg of produce compared to traditional greenhouses, which average 5.4 kWh per kg of produce.
Nonetheless, several companies have invested in greener energy sources to decrease their overall carbon footprint or, decrease energy consumption in their respective facility to conserve their margins when inflation pressures the entire sector.