Kurt Parbst – President, Borlaug
Dick Kramp – Ing, AB Energy USA
Controlled Environment Agriculture is relatively energy intensive. As our society rapidly transforms to carbon neutrality, CEA must immediately become more energy efficient, maximizing resource recapture through ‘closed-loop’ systems design, with what added power is needed soon being provided from climate-neutral sources. Presently, much CEA uses fossil natural gas for primary energy; however, when properly integrated through combined heat and power, can do so in an environmentally superior manner. Examples include using biogenic energy sources where practical, and capturing carbon from onsite or adjacent generation and using this as a resource to accelerate plant growth. Such integration substantially reduces GHG impacts from energy use and provides both development and operating flexibility, as compared to central plant power. Planning forward, carbon neutral fuels such as biogas, biomass and optimized solar power will replace fossil fuels and these distributed resources are a natural part of integrated CEA energy systems. This panel will explore the current state of the art in CEA energy systems that minimize environmental impact and discuss direct pathways to net-zero carbon for the industry.