2050: Dutch acreage will be 20% smaller, but climate-neutral

In 2050 Dutch horticulture will be climate-neutral. Already by 2030 a big step will have been taken. The biggest challenge will be achieved through measures in the greenhouses: more economical production methods, energy-efficient greenhouses, heat recovery and delivery to the greenhouses of sustainable energy (electricity and heat). There will be flexible solutions by district, such as joining a heat-distribution grid, geothermal heat or flexible electricity used at times when there is low-cost solar or wind energy. A CHP plant will be switched on for power supply when electricity is expensive. A number of greenhouse growers will opt for cultivation of specialties that require only an electrical connection for heating. Because electricity in the coming years will become increasingly cleaner and without CO2 production, the glasshouse growers will thus contribute to a neutral climate. The study sketches the pictures of "flexibility" and "all-electric" in the future energy management of greenhouses.

The study "Vision horticulture 2030 climate and energy" has been conducted by CE Delft, commissioned by LTO Glaskracht Nederland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and LTO Glaskracht Nederland have agreed to the Long-term Agreement Energy Greenhouse 2014-2020, to develop a vision for addressing the energy sustainability of the horticultural sector after 2020. In the context of the program Greenhouse as Energy Source, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and LTO Glaskracht Nederland have worked successfully for years on, and led research into, more efficient cultivation methods (The New Cultivation, greenhouses, better lighting, geothermal). As a result the Dutch horticulture industry is one of the most innovative sectors in the area of energy and has a strong lead internationally.

Acreage decrease 
The report is based on a significant decrease in the area: 20% to 2050 (7,500 ha). "The reason is that there is now a lot of acreage with outdated greenhouses and the assessment is that they will not all be replaced. More than half of the remaining area (60%) will consist of the cultivation of commodities where a large degree of flexibility can be applied with regard to electricity, heat, production and CO2. The other 40% consists of the cultivation of specialties, products where all-electric greenhouses are dominant.

The report also looks at the position of CHP. In the coming years, there are still many opportunities for the use of CHP. The opportunities for the sustainable Bio-CHP are, however, highly dependent on various developments. The availability and cost of suitable biomass is a very important one. But also developing a market model in which the flexibility available to the grower gets a value by which the cost of the durability can be covered is necessary.
The search for clusters of companies (and other sectors) can contribute to an opportunity for a richer rollout of sustainable heat and power.

Read the report on the website of CE Delft.

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