The COVID-19 disruption has exposed supply chains to volatility rarely seen before. Indoor vertical farming promises to shorten food supply chains by bringing food production closer to consumers. It also uses far less land and water, and no pesticides. The problem with vertical farming is the huge amount of energy required to power the indoor facilities. A possible solution lies in microgrids, which localize power generation and bring multiple clean energy benefits. Setting up microgrids requires a lot of upfront capital, but innovative business models like energy-as-a-service have helped to make the investment more attainable.
- Vertical farming is taking off as an alternative in large part because of the panic around the pandemic.
- Most vertical farms use microgrids to supply their specific energy needs.
- There are business models in place to help small farms secure microgrids and the technology they need.
“Despite the major advantages, there is one looming barrier to mainstream adoption: the process is very energy intensive.”