The paradox of vertical farming

Artificial lighting saves land because plants can be grown above each other, but if the electricity for the lighting comes from solar panels, then the savings are canceled out by the land required to install the solar panels.

@neauoire on the other hand, electricity is a lot easier to move than plants so if you can put the panels out where density isn't a problem and the farms near the people needing the food, you're possibly still better off.

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@ndpi You mean like installing panels around the equator to power the farms near the poles?

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@neauoire that's pretty large scale! I was thinking put the panels a few tens-to-hundreds of kilometers outside of a city and the farms inside.

@neauoire @ndpi Replacing many km² of tomato greenhouses in southern Spain which truck their produce to northern Europe with PV panels feeding HVDC connections to vertical farms further north might be a net win on a number of axes: overall productivity increase, transport emissions reductions, working conditions (lot of near slave labour of African immigrants currently) and quality of fruit delivered.

@neauoire @ndpi Supermarket tomatoes in the UK are awful now: red but under ripe, thick skinned with a watery middle and no flavour as they're selected to look good on the supermarket shelf after they've been trucked from Spain. Local production from local wind power and HVDC PV could allow much shorter trips from “farm” to store so much better quality.

@edavies @neauoire it was interesting seeing all the greenhouses in Iceland growing fruits and veggies using geothermal power. I imagine we could do something similar with other sources in northerly regions.

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