Dr Zoe M Harris

Lecturer in Environment and Sustainability, NERC Industrial Innovation Research Fellow
BSc (Hons), PhD
+44 (0)1483 686683
10 BA 02
Monday 15:00 - 16:00

Academic and research departments

Centre for Environment and Sustainability.



Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

My publications


Zoe M. Harris, Yiannis Kountouris (2020)Vertical Farming as a Game Changer for BECCS Technology Deployment, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)12(8193) MDPI AG

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that to limit warming to 1.5 °C, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) is required. Integrated assessment models (IAMS) predict that a land area between the size of Argentina and Australia is required for bioenergy crops, a 3–7 time increase in the current bioenergy planting area globally. The authors pose the question of whether vertical farming (VF) technology can enable BECCS deployment, either via land sparing or supply. VF involves indoor controlled environment cultivation, and can increase productivity per unit land area by 5–10 times. VF is predominantly being used to grow small, high value leafy greens with rapid growth cycles. Capital expenditure, operational expenditure, and sustainability are challenges in current VF industries, and will affect the ability to utilise this technology for other crops. The authors argue that, whilst challenging, VF could help reach wider climate goals. Application of VF for bioenergy crops could be a game changer in delivering BECCS technologies and may reduce the land footprint required as well as the subsequent associated negative environmental impacts. VF bioenergy could allow us to cultivate the future demand for bioenergy for BECCS on the same, or less, land area than is currently used globally.