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Use energy from thin film solar panels installed inside a greenhouse to help power LEDs used to grow food with stacked hydroponics systems.



A Next Generation Greenhouse combines concepts from indoor food production facilities with part of the energy supplied by moveable thin film solar panels installed inside a greenhouse. 

Greenhouses now grow food on a single level using either soil or hydroponics, which is a soilless growing system. Energy to grow food is sunlight. Plant factories, popular in Japan, grow food in warehouses with stacked growing trays using hydroponics. These stacks can number from a couple to over a dozen levels. LED lights are used to grow food without any sunlight. 

Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. 

In greenhouses, sunlight is free but you are limited to one level of crops. 

Plant factories have high energy costs but can grow crops on several levels.

 A better way of growing food is to combine the best of both approaches into a multi-level hydroponics system. The top level would use sunlight and lower levels would use energy collected from thin film solar panels installed inside a Next Generation Greenhouse. 

What actions do you propose?

The goal of a Next Generation Greenhouse is to reduce carbon emissions for the agriculture sector.

This will occur by converting sunlight into electricity to power LED lights inside a Next Generation Greenhouse.

Who will take these actions?

Once the concept of a Next Generation Greenhouse is proven, it is expected that private companies will build these greenhouses.

Where will these actions be taken?

Next Generation Greenhouses can be built in any country.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Cannot quantify emission reductions at this time.

What are other key benefits?

The Next Generation Greenhouses can grow USDA certified organic food without the use of pesticides.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Cannot be determined at this time

Time line

This will be a long term solution.

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