We want to investigate the technical and socio-economic conditions for using waste heat from data centers for year-round cultivation in the sub-Arctic climate. In this way, create a more sustainable society where waste heat is used to make locally produced and organic vegetables.
Since awareness of food security has risen in recent years in Sweden, the government has established a strategy for achieving this. In the Nordic countries there are major challenges for the agriculture industry in terms of significant climate constraints, but there is also potential in terms of energy sources that can make farming more sustainable and help move towards the food security goals. The farms, especially in the north, have a strong tradition for pastures targeting the meat and dairy industry. This type of agriculture is highly adapted to arctic and subarctic climate (with large variations in sunlight and heat over the year) compared with vegetable cultivation.
Vegetable farms in Sweden have high production costs due to the need for added energy and tends to grow mono crops to optimize profits driven by demand from the major retailers. However, this is a vulnerable business model as it reduces the adaptability of farms to market changes. Many regions are therefore dependent on national and international imports to provide vegetables.
To adapt vegetable cultivation businesses to the climate of the Nordic countries, re-location of farms closer to waste heat sources of expanding industry such as data centers should be considered. Often these industries are condensed in urban or peri-urban areas where services and necessities are more accessible than in the countryside, which might encourage new farmers to appear.
The aim of the project is to find technical, economic and social synergies between greenhouse and data centers that can contribute to make vegetable farming competitive and sustainable in Nordic countries.
Projektledare och korrdinator
2019-01-01 t.o.m. 2020-12-31