Thanks to their ability to directly capture the sun's heat energy to maintain optimal production temperature in winter, the more than 30,000 hectares of greenhouses in the southeast of Spain require 100 times less energy than what is needed in colder areas (like in the Netherlands, for example), mainly due to the consumption of heating fuel, stated Juan Carlos Lopez Hernandez, a researcher at the Cajamar Foundation.
According to him, a greenhouse is an agrosystem that optimizes the use of water and energy, making it a candidate for the application of renewable sources (sun, wind, or non-fossilized biomass) characterized by an unlimited and sustainable contribution of energy.
In recent years, interesting and promising experiences have been developed on the use of renewables at different levels, such as the Watergy project, built and tested at the Cajamar Experimental Station, where a cold-heat input system was available through air-water exchangers, as well as recovery of water from condensation.
According to Lopez Hernandez, this isn't the only project launched around the use of energy in intensive agriculture. There are other projects, such as Inversos, Cenit-Mediodia, or Euphoros, that are being carried out with the University of Tecnova, that are making advance mechanisms for the use of solar radiation, heat storage, innovative conditioning devices, improving the functional viability of renewable systems in greenhouses and, especially, their contribution to the improvement of the horticultural production.