- Energy Saving
- Heat Pumps
- Electricity Generation
Sustainable Greenhouse Production - Saving Energy & Managing Water
Growers of protected crops who attended this event heard from Dutch consultants how the drive to save energy, and to grow more sustainably, was seeing fundamental changes to glasshouse cropping practices in the Netherlands.
For instance, new thinking suggests that absolute humidity gives a better picture of humidity levels in the glasshouse than either relative humidity or vapour pressure deficit, and that means it can be controlled more accurately, said Peter Geelen of Plantmonitoring NL.
The arrival of new, more transparent screen materials is changing the way growers use energy screens. Paul Arkesteijn of screen manufacturers Ludvig Svensson said not only could such screens be kept closed for longer but two screens could be used together to give bigger energy savings.
Growers also heard about the R&D programme ‘Kas als energiebron’, or ‘Greenhouses as the source of energy’, which was exploring sources of renewable energy and ways to save energy. The Dutch industry was working towards achieving a 50% reduction in energy use compared with 2010 levels, said Aat Dijkshoorn of the Product Board for Horticulture. It also had the goal of, by 2020, being able to build new glass that was ‘climate neutral’.
Grodan sustainability manager Stuart Lambie said retailers’ focus on the sustainability of their operations meant they were asking growers what they were doing to make crop production more sustainable. He said life-cycle analysis of glasshouse production showed that energy use had by far the biggest environmental impact of any factor.