Food production and energy are undoubtedly interlinked. However, at present food production depends almost exclusively on direct use of stored energy sources, may they be nuclear-, petroleum- or bio-based. Furthermore, non-storage based “renewable” energy systems, like wind and solar, need development before bering able to contribute at a significant level. This presentation will point towards surplus heat as a way to bridge the gap between today’s food systems and truly sustainable ones, suitable to be performed in urban and peri-urban areas. Considering that arable land and fresh water resources are the base for our present food systems, but are limited, in combination with continued urbanisation, such solutions are urgently needed. By combining the use of surplus energy with harvest of society’s organic side flows, like e.g. food waste and aquatic based cash crops, truly sustainable and urban close food systems are possible at a level of significance also for global food security.
In order to bring this work forward a site and scale specific optimisation model is needed and will be discussed at the presentation.
ESS with its expertise in physics and system analysis and located in the middle of Scandinavia's most expansive urbanisation and its most productive bread basket area is a most interesting place to also host a centre of expertise in the interconnection between surplus energy and nutrient recycling. A centre with the ultimate aim to produce knowledge allowing implementation of healthy and environmentally friendly food systems not dependent on large areas of arable land and huge quantities of fresh water, suitable also for urban and peri-urban locations.
ESS will require approximately 250 GWh of power per year to operate, power that ultimately is converted to heat. With innovative cooling solutions, a third of the captured heat will be high-temperature and can be sold as district heating, supplying a significant portion of the heating needs in the City of Lund. Further innovation is required for the remaining two thirds of the heat produced. This heat could be augmented with heat pumps, but at the price of a significantly increased use of electricity. This presentation will bring forward an alternative food production cooling chain, involving fermentation, aquaculture and greenhouse horticulture including both use of low grade surplus heat and recycle societies organic waste as animal feed and manure based fertilizers. The development of such system will demand trans-disciplinary collaboration between physics and biology. The presentation will show the biological processes involved.