(Forbes) It turns out that the price reductions and efficiency gains we’re hearing about this year for LED technology aren’t just interesting for traditional lighting applications in warehouses, streets, office buildings and so on. They’re helping a very niche area of green tech, vertical farming, take root in cities around the world.

Vertical farms aren’t just next-generation greenhouses for hobbyists, where the focus on growing vegetables and fruits on buildings rather than fields. A handful of notable startups have started tackling this space far more aggressively – at least one of which has scored seed funding from Whole Foods.

Several of them figure in a new report on 2014 clean energy trends by researcher Clean Edge. It turns out that LED technology advances, as well as progress on development of sensors that help farmers capture data about nutrient and water levels, are cultivating new growth for vertical farms. Some of these technologies promise to yield as much four to 10 times per square meter as traditional farming methods, according to statistics cited in the Clean Edge report.

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