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Energy Impact Event Vattenfall

Energy lecture for greenhouse growers with an eye for new technologies

The World Horti Center in Naaldwijk hosted energy producer Vattenfall's Energy Impact Event yesterday afternoon. A group of just under a hundred people, the majority of them growers, were informed about the latest developments and the subject of sustainability. A catch-all term that was addressed more concretely by Vattenfall itself but also by Greenhouse Marketeers and Thermeleon.

Roderick Glerum kicked off the event

The first to speak was Roderick Glerum, Director of Business Market at Vattenfall. He kicked off with a nice anecdote about the king and the farmer. The moral of the story was that together you can get the big stone blocking the way (read: energy crisis) out of the way. If everyone walks around it, nothing will happen. You can't do anything alone, but together you can get things done.

Rick Marsman gives an interactive presentation

Rick Marsman, market and sustainability expert at Vattenfall, then took the audience through current energy market developments. Among other things, he pointed out that 'we' need a strong demand reduction next year to have the gas storage facilities properly filled. However, Rick also noticed that this is a sensitive topic among horticulturists. A true energy expert, Rick sprinkled figures and jargon. Inquiries made afterwards showed that several attendees had been listening with fascination but that they could not pass on the core message to their neighbor in a few sentences. Like everything that happens in the field of energy is not always immediately comprehensible, the presentation also needs some time to sink in.

Anne Korthals Altes in the middle of her presentation

Anne Korthals Altes, Manager of Sustainability at Vattenfall, then spoke about her area of work: sustainability in the energy market. Several guest presentations also dealt with sustainable energy developments.

Sandra Uitenbroek - van Schie after a successful presentation

CO2 footprint
After the break, attendees could choose between two presentations: a presentation by Sandra Uitenbroek - van Schie of Greenhouse Marketeers or a presentation from Ludvig Svensson on Plant Empowerment. Sandra talked about how they help companies map their carbon footprint as a company or even by product. At Greenhouse Marketeers, they see an increasing demand from consumers for such insights, as consumers make more conscious purchases and want to contribute to the environment. But retailers are also coming up with more and more demands because they also want to profile themselves as sustainable. And don't forget those in The Hague, who are coming up with more and more demands in this area. Grist to the mill of Greenhouse Marketeers, as they map the carbon footprint for companies so they can communicate it to all parties.

As more and more companies and especially growers participate, there will be a certain standard to measure yourself as well, Sandra pointed out. "An orchid cannot be compared to a potted chrysanthemum, but if you have ten growers of the same variety, you can put yourself next to one another. Then you can show, for example, that because your product sits for a long time, it does not have a high footprint."

Liesanne Wieleman, founder and CEO, and Jildou de Jong, founder, and CTO of Thermeleon, after Jildou's presentation

Heat battery in development
The second round of presentations gave a choice between a presentation by Ledngd or by Jildou de Jong on behalf of Thermeleon. Jildou spoke about the development of a heat battery. Small tests are currently underway at Koppert Cress and will be scaled up in the near future. An expansion of a total of 1 hectare is planned early next year.

With a heat battery like this, growers could save 10-30% heating and cooling energy, Jildou shared with the audience. The battery recharges itself by temperature difference at the edge or somewhere in the greenhouse. Actually, there is so much heat surplus in a greenhouse that it exceeds the energy requirements of natural gas. There is just a timing problem, which the heat battery solves. That's the operation in a nutshell.

Nothing physical could be shown yet due to rights and patents that need to be applied for, but tests will be shown at Koppert Cress in the near future. The whole idea is based on the fruit gardens in France in the past. These fruit gardens with walls designed to absorb the daytime heat allowed Mediterranean produce to be grown in the colder parts of the country.

For more information:
Marloes Westgeest, Market manager Agri  

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