- ClearVue Technologies (CPV) may hold the key to making the world’s agricultural industries more sustainable and eco-friendly
- Greenhouses could be the future of food growth, but they currently use excessive energy and fossil fuels and produce high emissions
- ClearVue’s electricity-generating glass product could provide power to and reduce the energy consumption of greenhouses worldwide
- The company recently constructed the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse to trial the impact of its product on plants
- ClearVue is also developing an expansion of its glass product range to extend its potential market
- Shares in ClearVue Technologies are trading at 73 cents per share
ClearVue Technologies (CPV) may hold the key to making the world’s agricultural industries more sustainable and eco-friendly.
While burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal is the most well-known perpetrator behind climate change, it is not the only one guilty of causing global warming. Another major contributor to climate change is modern agriculture.
The food that we grow, whether it’s the plants in the ground or the animals on top of it, comes at a heavy price. This is especially true now, when agriculture exists on a mass-production scale, enhanced by new and innovative machinery and technology.
One such innovation was the greenhouse — structures of glass that trap the heat of sunlight inside them to provide warmth to plants all year round. Greenhouse agriculture is also an efficient use of cultivated land, especially since the introduction of vertical farming.
Vertical farming is a method of growing crops on vertically stacked shelves and towers, instead of the traditional horizontal farming layout. In many cases, farmers who implement vertical growing technologies can yield substantially more produce on the same amount of land.
It’s easy to see how greenhouses could be the future of food growth; however, there’s an unfortunate downside to these glass structures.
While conventional agricultural greenhouses are so named for being full of green-leafed vegetation, they’re not particularly green when it comes to environmental friendliness. We see this reflected in the phrases “greenhouses gases” and “the greenhouse effect”, expressions now synonymous with the catastrophic changes in the Earth’s atmospheric layers. ClearVue’s agricultural greenhouses, however, are unconventional and provide substantial reductions in carbon footprints.
In the tiny nation of Holland, where 80 per cent of cultivated land is under a greenhouse roof, the country’s agriculture is a major contributor to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to producing high emissions, greenhouses also use excessive amounts of energy, and continue to rely on fossil fuels for lighting, heating, and fertilisers.
If we are to effectively combat climate change, making our agricultural industries more sustainable is a critical part of that plan. So how do we make our greenhouses truly green?
Here in Australia, ASX-listed glass technology company, ClearVue Technologies, has a potential solution for revolutionising sustainable agriculture.
The company’s main product is an energy-efficient, clear triple-glazed glass panel, which can generate electricity and reduce the consumption of energy. While visible light passes through the pane, the invisible wavelengths of light are deflected to the edges of the glass and converted into electricity.
When applied to greenhouse glass, ClearVue’s electricity-generating glass product could provide power to and reduce the energy consumption of greenhouses worldwide.
Earlier this year, ClearVue announced the completed construction of the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse at Murdoch University in Western Australia. The greenhouse was fitted with high-transparency solar windows, built with the company’s patented glass technology.
The unique greenhouse features a range of sensors that record a variety of data in real time. As such, the greenhouse can provide accurate information about conditions like temperature, humidity, and the amount of light that plants are receiving.
Professor Chengdao Li of Murdoch University and the UN Food Security Council will conduct plant trials within the greenhouse. The trials may provide insight into how ClearVue’s technology impacts the plants, and open up more monetisation opportunities for the company.
With such opportunities in mind, ClearVue has plans to open an office in Holland, a world leader in agricultural innovation. This would make the company eligible to apply for access to funding available under the European Green Deal Investment Plan.
ClearVue would use such funds for further research and development, production, and installations. The money would be particularly helpful as the company develops an expansion of its glass product range.
ClearVue has been making progress in developing single- and double-glazed glass panels, to complement its existing triple-glass panel product. This will allow the company to grasp existing and retrofit markets, as well as new installations.
In Holland, where 9000 hectares of land is covered by a canopy of greenhouse glass, ClearVue could access a potential market consisting of 90 million one-metre-by-one-metre panels that might require retrofitting or replacement.
Shares in ClearVue Technologies are trading at 73 cents per share at the close of market on Thursday, May 13.