Energy Gluttony of Cannabis Industry Hits Breaking Point
Scale Energy Solutions announced a new suite of technologies to reduce the voluminous energy needs of indoor cannabis cultivation. This energy use can account for as much as 50% of a grower's total overhead, and is detrimental to the environment – taking the "green" out of the growing marijuana industry.
In order to reduce this energy drain, the team at Scale Energy Solutions devised a new type of "Micro-Grid" that integrates clean technology solutions into indoor cannabis grow facilities, to significantly lower energy use and reduce environmental impact.
A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that legal indoor marijuana-growing operations are highly energy intensive, and are responsible for an alarming percentage of the nation's total energy use. In California, the top-producing state, indoor cultivation uses about 3% of all electricity use. A single cannabis cigarette represents 1.5 kg (3 pounds) of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to driving a fuel efficient hybrid car 22 miles, or keeping a 100-Watt light bulb on 24-hours a day.
"The cannabis industry is now using six times more energy than the pharmaceutical industry, and this paradigm is not sustainable," says Timothy Hade, Co-Founder of Scale Energy Solutions. "Our new approach to energy reduction not only slashes costs for growers, but also improves the industry's total environmental footprint, which in the long run will increase its chance of acceptance at a national level."
Some companies are touting energy-saving LED lighting as a means to lower energy costs, but this addresses only a small part of the overall problem, Hade said. Additionally, many growers say that LEDs do not perform as well as the high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps, especially when the plants began producing flowers â€“ the valued part of the yield, according to the New York Times.
Scale Energy Solutions is one of the only company's the provides a comprehensive solution, by essentially re-engineering a grower's energy grid.
"We provide a way for cultivators to reduce operating costs and improve profit margins in an increasingly commoditized market," Hade said. "By applying new technologies to cannabis growing, we create a truly greener industry."