Renewable energy could be instrumental for vertical farming

Increasing the use of renewable energy could power a new generation of vertical farms, says a leading expert.

Speaking at an event in Angus, Professor Derek Stewart of the James Hutton Institute, said high energy costs had made vertical farming (VF) systems inefficient due to the power required to fuel the stacked growing spaces, automation, and mechanics of the systems.

Prohibitive labor costs and shortages have also been contributing factors. However, the move toward renewable energy could be a game changer for the sector against a backdrop of climate change.

The system sees plants grown indoors in snooker table-sized trays and stacked up 12 meters high. Professor Stewart said the process is dependent on using energy for light, and if the problem of accessing energy cheaply can be addressed, then ‘you’ll win’ because in terms of productivity, VF ‘wins hands-down.’


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