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Launch of RE-Greenhouse, an Interreg North-West Europe-project

Speeding up the uptake of renewable energy sources in greenhouses

North-West Europe has the highest density of heated greenhouses in Europe and fossil fuels are the main energy source. Energy is the second largest component of production costs, second to labor. RE-Greenhouse is a new Interreg North-West Europe project that aims to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the greenhouse sector for climate resilience, food security, and enhanced competitiveness.

RE-Greenhouse brings together 11 partners from 5 NWE countries (BE, FR, DE, LU, NL), each expert in a particular field with pilot greenhouses using a specific renewable energy source. A high potential for the use of renewable energy sources in the greenhouse sector is unexploited because expertise on promising renewable energy sources is locked behind borders and greenhouse holders often lack time, means, and knowledge to make decisions. The RE-Greenhouse project partners want to collaboratively tackle this challenge by exchanging expertise and setting up various cross-border actions.

11 multidisciplinary and complementary partners committed to a common goal: speeding up the uptake of renewable energy sources in greenhouses.

Pilot set-ups of promising renewable energy source technologies
The project will set up a transnational matrix plan and transfer system for greenhouse operational data and implement this in six pilot sites with six renewable energy source technologies:

1. Solar energy

2. Heat network

3. Residual heat

4. Pellet heating system

5. Wood heating system

6. Biogas

The data retrieved from the pilot set-ups, together with information from stakeholder consultations and historical data will be used to develop an open decision tool for the flow, production, consumption, and storage of renewable energy sources in greenhouses.

On-site demonstration visits to the pilots will be organized to inform, inspire and stimulate greenhouse holders and stakeholders to transition to renewable energy sources.

Image: RE-Greenhouse focuses on six promising renewable energy source technologies

Energy decision tool for greenhouse holders
The 'Greenhouse renewable energy source decision tool' will be a game-changer for every greenhouse operator in North-West Europe, the developers say. The new decision tool will be able to determine which renewable energy sources are possible and opportune for specific greenhouse production. It will offer easy technical and economical options. The tool will be offered widely in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxemburg, and The Netherlands through an international open call. On-site demonstration visits and targeted training will be organized to increase the adoption and uptake of the tool and thus supporting the greenhouse holders in the needed transition to renewable energy sources.

Towards sustainable, resilient, and environmentally friendly practices
By transitioning to renewable energy sources, greenhouse holders will be able to avoid negative volatility caused by geopolitical events and market spikes. The long-term effect is a systemic change of a fossil-dependent and energy-consuming sector towards sustainable, resilient and environmentally friendly regional practices, which leads to food security, provides attractive career options and increases competitiveness in the global market for sustainable agricultural products. Increasing the resilience of an important sector in agriculture will also provide opportunities for further digitalization and integration into wider infrastructure developments.

About RE-Greenhouse
RE-Greenhouse is a project funded by Interreg North-West Europe, The RE-Greenhouse-project officially started 22/11/2023 and will run for 4 years. The consortium consists of 11 partners in 5 NWE countries (BE, FR, LU, NL): Inagro (BE), Boerenbond (BE), FarmTech Society (BE), Vegepolys Valley (FR), CTIFL- Interprofessional Technical Centre for Fruit and Vegetables (FR), Astredhor (FR), IFSB- Construction Sector Training Institute (LU), Greenport West-Holland (NL), The Hague University of Applied Sciences (NL), Heat Grid Westland (NL), Trier University of Applied Sciences – Ifas- Institute for Applied Material Flow Management (DE).

The project is coordinated by Inagro and supported by a €2,3m grant from the Interreg North-West Europe program. The goal of RE-Greenhouse is to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy production in NWE-greenhouses.

For more information:
Thomas Zoellner
FarmTech Society
[email protected]

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