In recent years, a new urban environment in the large metropolitan areas, the so-called “megacities”, has emerged. It is estimated that more than five billion people will be located in urban areas by 2030.
Many projects have been initiated in the megacities to support the new ecosystem services in providing the most sustainable and efficient food supply solutions, as well as for transporting fresh and clean vegetables. One of the most important focus areas is research on energy sustainability, including how to optimize energy efficiency to meet the needs of citizens and companies.
Indoor urban vertical farming (IUVF) is one of the greatest achievements of our time in agriculture, as it is entirely focused on meeting the food needs of people living in urban areas with the lowest environmental and energy costs. IUVF creates a new foundation in the urban food production system, providing opportunities for many other sustainable activities, such as energy and grey water recycling, but beyond all, it helps citizens to have access in fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables and to become more creative building up their skills regarding sustainable food production.
In a new study, the internal rate of return (IRR) and the net present value (NPV) indexes were used to compare IUVF and greenhouse (GH) facilities under various financing schemes. Consistent with similar studies, this research also confirms that IUVF is much more profitable for investors, saving significant resources compared to GHs.