The current world population of seven billion will reach over nine billion by the year 2050. The demand for food is expected to grow substantially with the growing population. The world will face some serious challenges to meet this growing demand for grain, water, and land.
One potential solution that could help achieve a sustainable food future is solar farms that actually float on water. Barcelona-based Forward Thinking Architecture has conceptualized a vision for the future by farming food and harnessing energy from the sun on solar farms that float on water.
A Smart Floating Farm (SFF) will be extremely efficient in its use of resources. The fully automated system will combine solar energy, hydroponics, and aquaculture. It is designed to use a much smaller area for growing and yield a larger quantity per square meter.
These smart farms could be installed in bodies of water close to the human population. They will use less water compared to traditional farming, and any organic waste will be converted into safe fertilizer using a biodigester.
Each rectangular smart floating farm module measures 200 meters by 350 meters. A number of SFFs can be clubbed together to form clusters with built-in walkways. The SFF has three levels: a ground level for aquaculture and desalination technologies, a first floor for hydroponic crop cultivation, and the rooftop will be covered in solar panels.
The company has estimated that each SFF can produce 8,152 tons of vegetables a year and 1,703 tons of fish a year. Considering that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, the SFF modules could prove to be a game-changer.