Philips and GE are supplying special LED lights to lower the energy costs of indoor lettuce farming. They also grow the lettuce in racks so that every two feet there is another layer. This boosts productivity per square foot.
The LED are more energy efficient and the tuned frequency enables the lettuce to grow 2.5 times faster. Productivity and efficiency go up.
There is an indoor farm in Japan that is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 square feet). It opened on July and it is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. This would be $300,000 to $500,000 per month of lettuce production. This is $3.6 to 6 million per year.
Warehouses (25000 square feet) in the Bronx or Long Island are $3.8-5 million So indoor farming can be very profitable even in New York.
I think the main selling point is that the vegetables are fresher if the farms are very close to restaurants and to Whole Food style groceries.
In 2010, George Monbiot criticized vertical farming by calculating the lighting cost for growing wheat. Monbiot picked the wrong crop and the wrong technological details.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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