ENERGY
News
for the horticultural industry
March 2013
Sainsbury’s has announced that it
has awarded a total of £1.2 million
funding to 14 agricultural and
horticultural R&D projects; and energy-
related horticultural projects feature
predominantly.
Applications for the Sainsbury’s Agricultural
R&D Grant closed last November, and the
company received 70 proposals for the
£1 million fund that it initially committed.
Because of the calibre of the bids, all
of which were for work to improve the
quality and sustainability of the Sainsbury’s
agricultural and horticultural supply chain,
the size of the fund was increased to
£1.2 million.
The successful projects were announced in
December, to an audience of nearly 1,000
Sainsbury’s farmer and grower suppliers.
Horticultural energy projects feature in
Sainsbury’s R&D Grant Awards
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s
Brand, said:
“The quality of the applications comes
as a stark contrast to the perception that
agricultural innovation has slowed in
recent years, all 70 were future thinking
and would play a key role to driving the
farming industry. The 14 successful projects
are not only great news for those involved
but the whole supply chain, through to our
customers who understand the importance
of supporting British and improving animal
health and welfare.
“As we work towards our 2020
sustainability plan, a number of these
projects will put us in good stead to achieve
our stretching targets — including doubling
sales of British produce and sourcing key
raw materials sustainably.”
Energy market update
It’s been a fairly quiet winter so far for the energy markets, with prices remaining
relatively stable. In general, supplies have easily met the market demands, and only
during the periods of very cold weather have we seen significant price increases. When
the cold snaps have happened, the rises in wholesale market prices have been relatively
short lived, with prices dropping back as soon as milder weather arrived.
Forward contract prices also seem to be holding firm, indicating that energy traders seem
confident that sufficient energy supplies will be available to meet consumer demand.
DECC reviews RHI rates
for ground source heat
pumps
The Department of Energy & Climate
Change (DECC) is reviewing the
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
rates for ground source heat pumps
(GSHPs).
Alarmed by the very small uptake of RHI
support for heat pumps, DECC thinks the
assumptions it used to set the current
rates do not reflect commercial costs and
returns.
DECC has announced that, if the RHI rates
for GSHPs increase following this review,
any projects accredited after 21st January
2013 will receive the new tariff.
An increase in RHI rates for GSHPs would
be a welcome boost for the technology.
Ground Source Heat Pump Association
evidence presented to DECC supports an
RHI rate of 9.4 pence per kilowatt-hour
(p/kWh) for GSHPs. This compares to the
current tariff rate of 3.4 p/kWh for projects
of over 100 kilowatts (kW) capacity.
An increased tariff for GSHPs could
transform the market for horticultural
heating applications.
Four horticultural projects were chosen to receive funding:
• Wight Salads Ltd
: Reducing the reliance of tomato, cucumber and sweet pepper
growers on natural gas for CO
2
enrichment in greenhouses.
• Wallings Nursery and M&W Mack Ltd
: Extending the British strawberry season
through the application of supplementary LED lighting.
• F W Mansfield and A C Goatham
: Dynamic controlled atmosphere storage to
optimise the delivery of high quality home-grown apples.
• Wallings Nursery, Thanet Earth and Wight Salads
: Benchmarking to understand and
drive efficiency in energy, water and fertiliser use in UK glasshouse production.
1 2,3,4