Future Crops moves to 100% renewable energy

Future Crops moves to 100% renewable energy

Harnessing the natural green powers of solar and wind energy, Future Crops is solving the primary hurdle to bringing the industry to a substantially greater carbon-neutral position. Image: Future Crops Ltd

Future Crops Ltd has taken its vertical farm a further step off the grid by shifting to reliance on 100% renewable energy.

Future Crops operates a state-of-the art, multilevel indoor vertical farm in ABC Westland, Netherlands, growing a broad portfolio of pesticide-free leafy green vegetables and herbs.

Gary Grinspan, co-founder and CEO of Future Crops. said it can grow high-value food on a much smaller stretch of land — approximately 5% of the land required for conventional agriculture.

“This means we can grow more, faster while concurrently cutting the food mileage. Our produce also has a naturally longer shelf-life which cuts food waste and eliminates ecotoxicity to people and the earth since no pesticides or harmful chemicals are required,” said Grinspan. “The Future Crops system also addresses the downside of the controlled indoor methods of growing crops: high energy consumption due to crops being unable to soak up natural sunlight.”

Future Crops began operations in 2018 with zealous ambitions to completely “green up” the entire process and reach zero carbon emissions. This spurred the company to choose a site that was already crowned with 18,000 solar panels that could substantially limit its reliance on conventional fossil fuel forms of energy.

In 2019 Future Crops received the final go-ahead to get connected. This year the company also started exploiting wind energy, bringing reliance on renewable energy to 100%. The success of these measures was reflected in a recently conducted projection-based analysis.

“We bolstered our farm’s infrastructure and insulation capabilities,” explained Grinspan. “We also sought solutions to further improve our cultivation processes to be more energy-efficient, including boosting yields. At the same time, we began a gradual migration to renewable energy.”

Future Crops noted that all its resources are reused and recycled, including 97% of the water. Soil substrate that has undergone several growth cycles is sold to other growers who treat and reuse it. The company’s commitment even goes to overcoming food waste. Produce that does not meet the visual specifications for retail is sold to food producers.

“Food waste and reducing carbon footprint are the most pressing issues in the battle to save the planet,” added Grinspan. “As the population grows over the next three decades, food consumption is predicted to increase by 70%. To accommodate that, arable land will need to be doubled, in turn driving up water usage. Currently, 75% of global water is consumed by agriculture.”

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