Thinking more on how vertical farming could be done I looked at the different aspects needed.
Plants need sunlight foremost. Replacing it with artificial light means using energy to create it. That energy has to come from somewhere and that means either regular or renewable energy and both mean it will be a loss.
So, unless there’s a way to convert it from source to light without loss it would be better to keep the plants exposed to sunlight and only add artificial light when needed.
Hydroponics and alternatives need a controlled system for it to function which induces another energy cost, not to mention the materials needed to build it.
The argument that it will prevent pests is only true for certain pests. There are still plenty of others which come into play.
There’s still the need for nutrients so plain old soil seems the low maintenance best way.
Produce which can be harvested mechanically is most efficiently done on a large scale. It would be a lot more difficult in a closed environment. And even if it was done on a large floor there’s the cost of transporting it by elevators which have to be build for heavy loads.
Even with the higher yield it seems the cost is still higher than the benefit over regular farming. So far it looks like there hasn’t been a study done on the full impact of a vertical farm.
The main thing that would make it feasable seems to be free/surplus energy like fusion or perhaps mini black holes but all we have is the sun.
There are companies producing small towers for growing crops in a vertical manner. Produce which has to be harvested by hand would be the most logical use for it.
I thought of a hollow pipe with ledges around it filled with soil and a perforated pipe down the middle to supply water. The pipe could be hooked up to a grey water supply by a standard hose at the top.
Use sturdy wood for material and it can even be recycled later.
Things like this seem the only efficient way of using floor space to get more produce without costing a lot more energy.
Large scale farming will still be done the same way as always.