Grower Jan Varekamp from Vers Van Voorne in Tinte decided all heating for his vegetables should be electrical instead of gas-driven. For example, an electric boiler has been installed, in addition to a geothermal network he's part of with fellow growers. In addition, thousands of solar panels are being installed on the roof of the caravan storage. "Sustainability is easier with electricity than with gas," Varekamp says.
What will the energy supply of Vers van Voorne consist of?
"We are working on a geothermal source with fellow growers. That partnership is Duurzaam Voorne. From that I get about 80% of the heat needed for Vers Van Voorne. For peaks I chose an electric boiler which has a number of important advantages. The installation is rather compact, you don't have complicated inspections for Nox and it's easier to be sustainable than with gas. We therefore produce our own electricity and can use the affordable moments on the energy market to generate and store heat."
Are there also disadvantages?
"Certainly. You don't produce CO2 with an electric boiler. In addition, there is only little knowledge about electric boilers among installers, and there aren't that many in horticulture. And in the climate computer everything is still expressed in cubic meters per hour, while I immediately have to count in kilowatts. But actually, not much can go wrong with the installation. There is just an on-off button, so to speak."
You are not only active with Vers van Voorne, but also with De Proefschuur and a caravan garage, for example. And then you also give presentations, such as with Meet & Greet Energie. Why?
"I want to be part of society with my company. Visibility is part of this. We're making a permanent Kom in de Kas (Come inside the greenhouse) where we tell the story of horticulture to consumers. They can see how vegetables grow all year round. In addition, we're also developing a location for meetings and gatherings. So I want to attract as many people as possible to our company."
Source: Greenport Westholland