A Growing Concern
John Hargove is CEO of the Association of Energy Services Professionals, a not-for-profit founded in 1989 dedicated to improving the delivery and implemenntation of energy efficiency, demand-side management and demand response programs.
We spoke with Nick Collins, P.E., associate director at ERS, an expert in monitoring and verification of energy efficiency projects and analysis of energy efficiency and demand-limiting measures, and on energy use and facility performance in cannabis and indoor agriculture.
John Hargrove, AESP: Recognizing that cannabis cultivation is a controversial topic, it has been legalized in several states resulting in commercialized cultivation. What are the energy impacts?
Nick Collins: A substantial quantity of legal cannabis is grown in indoor or greenhouse facilities, especially where local climates do not favor outdoor cultivation. The indoor cultivation facilities are particularly energy intensive due to the high lighting power density of the flower and vegetation rooms and the need to cool and dehumidify the cultivation rooms.
The Cannabis Energy Report: The Current and Evolving State of Cannabis Energy Consumption, New Frontier Data, 2018, estimates that the legal cannabis industry consumes 1.1 million megawatt-hours of electricity annually with an anticipated growth of electrical consumption of a hundred and sixty-two percent between 2017 and 2022.