Under the title 'kilowatt growers,' radio program Argos also addressed the energy crisis in greenhouse farming last week. The hour-long radio show questioned whether growers should still use so much gas to grow their crops. It also questions the burning of gas by growers to generate electricity to sell on the grid.
The radio item includes grower Michiel, who doesn't use a surname out of fear of angry reactions. The grower grows under the smoke of Rotterdam using, among other things, residual heat and CO2 from the port area and electricity from solar panels.
Grower Alfons also speaks. He stopped growing peppers because of high energy prices and had his greenhouse converted for a fellow grower who grows pot plants in it. Alfons himself now works in that company.
Grower Marco talks about how growers nowadays also make money by using gas to generate electricity. Marco invested in an extra cogeneration unit.
The radio broadcast also features Laura Bromet, among others. Earlier this year, she tabled a motion to ban ornamental plant cultivation in greenhouses and phase out greenhouse horticulture, a major gas consumer. Her response is that it is "very sad" that growers are again turning to gas in times of crisis.
Speaking to Greenport West-Holland earlier this year, the CEO of Juva, a Westland energy network company, also warned of the danger of using gas to generate electricity and make money from it. Going for short-term profits is a very dangerous one in the light of what is happening to growers now, he argued. "If the image emerges in The Hague of gas-guzzling horticulture deriving its raison d'être from selling electricity, it won't be long until public opinion turns against the sector."