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Thread: Another "green" failure

  1. #1
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    Default Another "green" failure

    Vertical Farming Has Found Its Fatal Flaw

    Europe’s energy crisis is forcing companies to switch strategies or close down. The industry’s future hangs in the balance.



    IN JUNE, A vast new vertical farm opened on the outskirts of the English town Bedford. At a swanky opening event, members of the UK Parliament heard that the gleaming facility would one day produce 20 million plants annually. It was the latest opening for Infarm, a European vertical farming company that had raised over $600 million in venture capital funding, promising a future where vegetables are grown in high-tech warehouses stacked with LED lights rather than in open fields or greenhouses.

    But now the future of the Bedford farm looks less than gleaming. On November 29, Infarm’s founders emailed its workforce to announce they were laying off “around 500 employees”—more than half of the workforce. The email detailed the firm’s plans to downsize its operations in the UK, France, and the Netherlands, and concentrate on countries where it had stronger links to retailers and a higher chance of eventually turning a profit. In September, Infarm had already laid off 50 employees, citing a need to reduce operating costs and focus on profitability.

    Just six months ago, the vibe from Europe’s biggest vertical farm company was unrelentingly optimistic, so what changed? According to Cindy van Rijswick, a strategist at the Dutch research firm RaboResearch, several pressures that have always existed for vertical farms have really come to a head in 2022. For starters, the industry is extremely vulnerable to increases in electricity prices. Powering all of those plant-growing LEDs uses a lot of electricity, and between December 2020 and July 2022 consumer energy prices in the EU went up by nearly 58 percent. Eighteen months ago, European vertical farms might have spent around 25 percent of their operational costs on electricity, but that might have gone up to around 40 percent, estimates van Rijswick.

    At the same time, investors are starting to tighten their belts and look for faster routes to profitability. Vertical farms are expensive to build compared with conventional outdoor farms. AppHarvest—a US-based firm that builds high-tech greenhouses—has struggled to find enough cash to fund its ongoing operations despite going public in 2021. In its latest quarterly report the company said there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue into the future.

    The poor global financial outlook is also putting pressure on consumers. Most vertical farms grow herbs, shoots, and other leafy salad vegetables. Leafy greens are the industry’s go-to produce because they grow quickly under LEDs and have a short shelf life and premium price point. But with inflation high, consumers might prefer to forgo expensive vertically farmed herbs for something a little more budget-friendly. That’s particularly true for European vertical farms. “The European market is a difficult place for vertical farming because there’s so much competition from crops that are grown in fields or greenhouses,” says van Rijswick.

    Vertical farms might stand a better chance of surviving if they look further afield, to countries where energy is cheap and growing crops outside is difficult. One obvious place is the Middle East. Gulf Cooperation Council countries—a group made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates—import around 85 percent of all their food and 56 percent of their vegetables. “When choosing new markets to expand to and establish a farm, we are going to look to places that have an increasing need for food production and food security,” Infarm founder Erez Galonska told the Vertical Farming Congress in Abu Dhabi on December 14. One of the world’s largest vertical farms opened earlier this year in Dubai. The facility is nearly three times the size of Infarm’s Bedford growing center and supplies leafy greens for the Emirates airline and local stores.

    Outside of the Middle East, vertical farms might have a tougher time making themselves useful. In 2020, Ben Pieterse cofounded a vertical farm startup called Glowfarms. He managed to raise €750,000 ($799,000)—enough to build a proof-of-concept farm in the Netherlands. But while Pieterse was subsequently trying to raise €5 million ($5.3 million) for a commercial-scale pilot farm, the energy crisis started to bite. Initially he budgeted €0.07 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity costs, but as prices kept rising he had to revise his estimates to €0.40 per kWh. His attempts to raise money started to fall through, and in early November he shuttered the startup. “Right now the circumstances are very bad for vertical farms,” he says.

    Consumers in the West might have seen vertical farming displays in restaurants and high-end grocery stores, but the technology really hasn’t transformed agriculture in the way that its early proponents promised. For a long time the industry has touted itself as a more sustainable way to grow vegetables, but all the energy needed to light up those LED bulbs means that vegetables grown on vertical farms can 2222end up having higher CO2 emissions than those grown in open fields and trucked hundreds of miles to their final destination. In a world where all electricity is generated by renewables, those emissions would be much lower, but that’s not the world we’re living in right now. However, vertical farms use a lot less water and pesticides than open fields, which is another reason why water-stressed regions are so interested in the technology.

    “I hoped that the impact of vertical farming could—and would—be bigger than it currently is,” Pieterse says. Europe’s energy crisis has exposed some of the flaws in vertical farming that were just waiting to come to the surface. “I think in the coming year more realism will really kick in,” says Van Rijswick. Energy prices in Europe will eventually go down again, but 2022 has demonstrated that such an energy-intensive industry will always be vulnerable to fluctuations in electricity prices unless farms can find a way to generate their own power. This is another reason why Gulf states—which tend to have more stable electricity prices thanks to huge reserves of oil and gas—are starting to look more attractive to vertical farm producers.

    But Europe’s experiment with vertical farming might not be completely over. Both van Rijswick and Pieterse agree that the technology might end up having an impact, just not necessarily in a way that you’ll notice in your salad bowl. LED-powered farms could be paired with traditional agriculture to rapidly grow young plants or grow a lot of plants for use in research, van Rijswick says. As for a future where vast amounts of vegetables are grown in warehouses under LED lights all over the world? Maybe don’t hold your breath.

    https://www.wired.com/story/vertical...energy-crisis/

  2. #2
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    Can't afford to grow plants and eat but they gonna charge them lectric cars. Gotta save up.
    Gettin old is for pussies! AND MY NEW TRUE people say like Capt. Tom >>>>>>>>>/
    "Wow, often imitated but never duplicated. No one can do it like the master. My hat is off to you DRDUCK!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRDUCK View Post
    Can't afford to grow plants and eat but they gonna charge them lectric cars. Gotta save up.
    Preach
    Quote Originally Posted by Birddawg View Post
    I dont know how it was done. For all I know that weird bastard that determined it's gender licked it.

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    How else did they think trying to improve on God's perfect creation would go?

  5. #5
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    Yeah, all these "green" ventures are gonna make Clinton's NAFTA decision look like chump change. Those big ole battery plant buildings gonna be some big eye sores.

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    Alot of legal pot farms are going out of business in Michigan due to increasing electric prices and cheaper price of weed.Theyre having to resort selling it in other states now to break even.

  7. #7
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    Wait, growing plants indoors is more expensive than sticking seed in the ground and growing it outside? Who’d-a-thunk-it?!
    “I can’t wait ‘till I’m grown” is the stupidest @!#* I ever said!

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    These "green" ideas will never fail. The excuse will always be that not enough money and resources were exerted for it to succeed.
    "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

    "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MolliesMaster View Post
    These "green" ideas will never fail. The excuse will always be that not enough money and resources were exerted for it to succeed.
    Socialism harder, bro. Like feel it in your plums!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Socialism harder, bro. Like feel it in your plums!
    Oh we are feeling it and will continue to feel it….not in our plums but in damn close proximity.
    “I can’t wait ‘till I’m grown” is the stupidest @!#* I ever said!

  11. #11
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    And another...

    Soaring Costs Threaten U.S. Offshore-Wind Buildout

    Companies behind big East Coast projects are looking to renegotiate contracts as inflationary pressures upend financial models

    By Katherine Blunt
    Jan. 1, 2023 5:30 am ET

    Offshore wind developers are facing financial challenges that threaten to derail several East Coast projects critical to reaching the Biden administration’s near-term clean-energy targets.

    Supply-chain snarls, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are making projects far more expensive to build. Now, some developers are looking to renegotiate financing agreements to keep their projects under way.

    The Biden administration has set a target for the U.S. to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030—enough to supply electricity to roughly 10 million homes. Analysts say that target will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve if cost and supply issues persist.

    “We’re seeing unexpected and unprecedented macroeconomic challenges,” said David Hardy, chief executive of the Americas for Danish power company Řrsted A/S, which is developing about five gigawatts of offshore wind projects off the coast between Rhode Island and Maryland.

    The U.S. offshore wind industry has long faced delays related to federal permitting, a process the Biden administration has pushed to accelerate. Vineyard Wind LLC, a joint venture between Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, is now building the nation’s first large-scale project off the coast of Massachusetts and expects it to begin producing power late next year, roughly six years after it started the permitting process.

    Global market dynamics have compounded the hurdles. The U.S. is building its first wave of offshore wind farms at the same time European countries try to accelerate their own projects to secure electricity supplies following the invasion of Ukraine. That has strained the supply chain, as well as the availability of specialized installation vessels needed to transport and hoist massive turbines.

    “There’s going to be a lot of vessel sharing,” said Samantha Woodworth, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

    Any delay to a single project in the U.S. or Europe could impact other projects, Ms. Woodworth said. WoodMac expects trickle-down delays will cause the U.S. to fall 2 gigawatts short of the 2030 goal set by the Biden administration.

    The Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year contains tax credits for offshore wind developers and manufacturers, as well as support for transmission planning. Developers say they are studying how the bill’s provisions could be used to help stabilize their projects.

    The U.S. is also pushing to begin developing offshore wind along the West Coast, an effort seen as key to achieving the 2030 target and other clean-energy goals. But potential projects there come with regulatory complexities, deep-water technical risks and port space constraints, and developers have been hesitant to bet big on the region as costs soar. The first-ever sale of California offshore wind rights in December fetched $757 million, compared with a $4.37 billion Atlantic coast auction in February.

    Wind-turbine manufacturers have also been struggling with supply-chain snarls and rising materials costs. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, one of the world’s largest turbine makers, reported lower revenue in the third quarter as a result of project delays and lower activity in the U.S.

    Josh Irwin, Vestas North America’s senior vice president of offshore sales, said the amount of time it takes for developers to complete the necessary permitting steps remains a challenge for planning.
    More at:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/soaring...d=hp_lead_pos1

  12. #12
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    And another...

    EXCLUSIVE: As Whales Were Washing Up Dead, Enviros Quietly Sounded The Alarm On Offshore Wind


    A dead humpback whale washes up on the beach in Brigantine, New JerseyDaily Caller News Foundation logo

    JOHN HUGH DEMASTRI
    CONTRIBUTOR
    January 22, 2023

    Amid a series of unexplained whale deaths off the northeastern coast of the U.S., a conservation group quietly alerted Senate Democrats that the development of offshore wind farms might need to “cease” to protect an endangered species of whales, according to a letter exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    The letter was sent to all 50 Senate Democrats by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a group that advocates for endangered species, on Dec. 20.
    “Without conservation measures to protect right whales from entanglements … all offshore wind development along the Atlantic seaboard will have to cease operation in order for NOAA Fisheries to meet its obligations … to ensure that the right whale population does not decline even further towards extinction,” the CBD wrote.
    As whales were washing up dead on the northeastern coast of the U.S., a conservation group quietly sounded the alarm to Senate Democrats that the development of offshore wind farms might need to “cease” to protect an endangered species of whales from “extinction,” according to a letter exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    On Dec. 20 the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) — an endangered species advocacy group — sent a letter to 50 Democratic senators, warning them that offshore wind development might put North Atlantic right whales in danger. The letter was sent after a last-minute provision was added to the fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending bill, which would allow lobster fisheries to avoid stricter environmental regulations.

    The bill ultimately passed, with the CBD decrying Democrats’ decision to agree to an “unprecedented extinction rider” that would allow fishers to put whales in danger, in a Dec. 22 press statement. This public statement made no mention of the possible threat of offshore wind farms.

    After six humpback and sperm whales washed up deceased in New York and New Jersey in 33 days, with the first washing up on Dec. 5, Clean Ocean Action (COA) — a New Jersey waterways activism group — called for an immediate federal investigation into the deaths and a moratorium on all offshore wind farm development, in a Jan. 9 press release, citing the “suspicions” raised by the deaths coinciding with development projects for offshore wind farms.

    The statement drew criticism from the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, who quoted advocates from nonprofit environmental group New Jersey Audubon, and nonprofit marine advocacy groups like Clean Water Action and Surfrider Foundation to push back on the claim, calling it “unfounded and premature,” in a Jan. 13 press release.

    There are currently six offshore wind projects slated for development in New Jersey, spanning hundreds of square miles, with five under active development in New York, according to the respective state governments.

    The Dec. 20 CBD letter argued that if the omnibus spending bill passed without placing harsher restrictions on lobster fisheries — whose fishing lines have been found to endanger whales — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would likely need to pull the plug on offshore wind farms in a bid to stave off extinction for endangered right whales.

    “Without conservation measures to protect right whales from entanglements, this legislation will likely mean that all offshore wind development along the Atlantic seaboard will have to cease operation in order for NOAA Fisheries to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act an Marine Mammal Protection Act to ensure that the right whale population does not decline even further towards extinction,” the CBD wrote.


    CBD letter to Democratic Senators Screenshot/DCNF
    CBD letter to Democratic Senators urging a no vote on the fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending bill, in part due to the possibility that North Atlantic right whales might be injured by offshore wind farm development. Screenshot/DCNF

    The controversy surrounding COA’s claims prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to host a Jan. 18 press conference — by which point two additional whales had died — where officials said that humpback whales had been dying at elevated rates in the region since January 2016, according to the AP. NOAA officials argued that in studying the 178 whales that had washed ashore since 2016, none showed signs of being impacted by offshore wind development.

    However, top NOAA scientist Sean Hayes, chief of the protected species branch at the National Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), warned the agency last year that both wind farms and their development could have drastic consequences on New England whale populations, particularly the Right whale, according to Bloomberg, who uncovered his May 13, 2022 warning via a Freedom of Information Act request.

    “Additional noise, vessel traffic and habitat modifications due to offshore wind development will likely cause added stress that could result in additional population consequences to a species that is already experiencing rapid decline,” Hayes said, according to Bloomberg.

    The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Clean Ocean Action, New Jersey Audubon, Clean Water Action, and the NEFSC did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. The Surfrider Foundation declined to comment.

    https://dailycaller.com/2023/01/22/w...offshore-wind/

  13. #13
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    But they dont want you to drive your 35' plus boat over 11mph out to 100 miles off the coast! You may run into a whale???

    Mean while anyone who knew about the dangers of the wind turbines back from almost 15 years ago now in the mid west and all the issues they had could tell you this was a terrible idea!

    Yup, he's crazy...


    like a fox. The dude may be coming in a little too hard and crazy but 90% of everything he says is correct.

    Sort of like Toof. But way smarter.
    ~Scatter Shot

  14. #14
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    Probably be reading the whales were all kilt by 32' Contenders...

    12 NJ mayors raise alarm on offshore wind after 'unprecedented' number of whale deaths
    The mayors noted that a recent increase in whale deaths 'coincides with ongoing activity' developing offshore wind

    Thomas CatenacciBy Thomas Catenacci | Fox News

    A dozen New Jersey mayors penned a letter to federal and state officials this week, urging them to implement an immediate moratorium on offshore wind development following the latest in a string of whale deaths.

    The mayors requested that offshore wind development is paused until a "thorough investigation" is conducted by federal and state agencies and proves that wind turbine infrastructure is not responsible for the excess whale deaths along the East Coast, according to the letter obtained by Fox News Digital.

    On Monday, a large dead humpback whale was found washed up on a beach in Nassau County, New York.

    "While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these (offshore wind) projects may already be having on our environment," the 12 mayors wrote in the letter Monday. "We urge you to take action now to prevent future deaths."

    The humpback whale discovered earlier this week marked the tenth such whale found beached across four East Coast states since December, according to federal officials. Five of the whales have been found on New Jersey beaches and a handful have been found in New York.

    The uptick in dead whales has sparked a fiery debate among lawmakers and environmental groups over whether offshore wind development is to blame.

    Republican New Jersey Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith and a coalition of local wildlife groups led by Clean Ocean Action have called for a moratorium on wind development in recent weeks.

    "The unprecedented number of whale stranding coincides with ongoing activity from acoustic survey vessels for the development of offshore wind," the 12 mayors added in their letter.

    The mayors who signed the letter represent Wildwood Crest, North Wildwood. Stone Harbor, Linwood, Brigantine, Long Beach Township, Mantoloking, Bay Head, Point Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake, Margate and Deal.

    On Wednesday, Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini explained that he had signed the letter because there had been insufficient environmental analyses conducted studying the impact of offshore wind development on marine wildlife. He noted a report from Save Long Beach Island, a local group opposed to offshore wind, that showed at least six vessels were operating off the coast of New Jersey as of Jan. 23, conducting geotechnical surveys that could disrupt whales.

    "There have been no environmental impact studies and we feel this project should be stopped until such studies have been completed," Mancini said

    On Jan. 18, federal officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a press briefing during which they downplayed the impact of offshore wind on whales. The officials said they were studying the cause of deaths for the whales recently discovered, but that no whale mortality has been attributed to offshore wind activities yet.

    "NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to minimizing risks to protected resources, habitats, and managed fisheries throughout the life cycle of offshore wind energy projects," NOAA spokesperson Lauren Gaches told reporters.

    The Biden administration and East Coast states like New Jersey continue to push for aggressive clean energy development including offshore wind projects as part of their climate agenda.

    In July, President Biden argued that offshore wind would create jobs and power millions of homes in the future. And the Department of Interior has expanded plans for offshore lease sales for wind development along the nation's eastern and western coastlines and in the Gulf of Mexico.

    There are currently four offshore wind projects in federal waters off the coast of New Jersey and another three projects being constructed off the coast of New York in federal waters, according to BOEM.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/12-...r-whale-deaths

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