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May 18, 2010

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Peter Spendelow

Hi Kumar,

Again, a very thought-provoking post.

Just a side note - don't hold out much hope of vertical farming for reducing carbon footprints. I think the actual result could be an increase of one or two orders of magnitude. Farming in fields requires relatively little energy, and makes effective use of solar power in the form of sunlight. Verticle farming requires a whole lot of structure, and probably has to rely on a lot of artificial lighting rather than natural sunlight, since higher-level floors will block sun from much of the lower levels, and many plants need nearly full sunlight to grow efficiently. It doesn't really make any sense. My bet is that even hydroponics require an order of magnitude or more energy than do field-grown plants, again because of all the infrastructure needed for hydroponics.

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