Netherlands: Biomass boiler becomes interesting alternative to natural gas

In the past year, Dutch growers Geert Bouten and Sjraar Hoeijmakers have been using a 5-MWth wood biomass installation with a heating network. The installation has been running since early July 2013 and last week they organized a meeting for the bioenergy study group.

About thirty growers and other interested individuals showed up. The attendees were interested because they themselves use biomass or consider using wood heating. The meeting was arranged by EnergyMatters and the Greenhouse as Energy program. The use of bio-energy can be an interesting, sustainable alternative for some greenhouse companies. At present there are 40 companies in the Netherlands using a wood boiler.

Geert Bouten has a pepper company of 2.3 hectares and Sjraar Hoeijmakers is growing zucchini and plum tomatoes on 2 ha. Together they own VuurSaam and operate the installation. They provide heat through a local network, sharing their energy with a cucumber grower and a pepper grower. The four companies combined save 2.5 million cubic meters of natural gas. 

A prerequisite for success is that the participating parties have different thermal patterns. "In February it will be exciting," says Bouten. "Then we all want to have heat." The expected payback period, according to calculations, is 5 years.

Source: Energiek2020

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