Words by c.z.robertson

(Probably not very original) sci-fi idea

2002-06-29 01:00:00 UTC

Back when I was doing GCSE science, many years ago, I remember one of my teachers saying that plants needed a cycle of light and darkness in order to grow efficiently, and that the optimum cycle length was 30 seconds or so.

It occured to me that if solar power, electricity storage and electric lighting became sufficiently efficient, it might make economic sense to replace crops with buildings with solar panels on the roofs which powered lights inside the buildings which turned on and off on a 30-second cycle instead of using the natural 24-hour cycle. The extra growth of the plants inside the buildings might justify the costs of setting up and maintaining the buildings. If the system were efficient enough, there would be no need to bring in electricity from outside the buildings.

Thoroughly unlikely to happen, but it might fit into some sci-fi story.