We are hearing a lot about defunding fossil fuel projects, that big banks are still mysteriously underwriting, but we don’t hear so much about where The New Cash is going.
But you KNOW those Hedge Fund guys are out there doing the timewarp again.
As someone very clever once said, “saying you don’t believe in climate change is like saying you don’t believe in hemoglobin.” Shapeshifters coming out of the Ivy Leagues aren’t talking about “believing” or “not believing”, of this we can be sure.
Exhibit A is a newfangled farm in the South Australian desert growing 180,000 tree-like tomato plants, in coconut husks (no soil) in a newfangled greenhouse that uses seawater it desalinates with mirrors.
It cost $200 Million to build the thing.
They’re just growing organic tomatoes. 15,000 tonnes of organic tomatoes annually. There are 2,204 pounds in 1 tonne of tomatoes so, if all goes according to plan, that’s 33,060,000 pounds at $4 US / lb.
It’s hooked up to the grid, just in case, but the business model is built on zero fossil fuels, zero pesticides, zero soil and zero groundwater. On any given sunny day (in the desert), 23,000 mirrors can generate up to 39 megawatts of energy – enough to power both the desalination plant and the greenhouse.
To put that into perspective, 1 MW can power as many as 1,000 homes and 45 MW can power a small city of 80,000.
At that rate, how long will it take them to recoup their initial investment and start picking cherries?
My favorite quote from the New Scientist piece?
Paul Kristiansen at the University of New England, Australia, questions the need for energy-intensive tomato farming in a desert, when there are ideal growing conditions in other parts of Australia.
“It’s a bit like crushing a garlic clove with a sledgehammer,” he says. “We don’t have problems growing tomatoes in Australia.”
Besides the Australia footprint, they have offices in London, Portugal and Tennessee.
There are people in China reading this blog, so even though you might know where Tennessee is, I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on that part of the picture.
It just so happens that we also have a workshop/quizlet to help you learn more about the south eastern states of the United States.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Robert Cross