For almost all cultivations in all regions, fossil-free scenarios can be imagined. If the prices of energy carriers such as gas and electrics will rise in the coming years because of market developments or because of surcharges to the market price, money can be saved for companies by switching to fossil-free options.
Researchers from Wageningen University & Research have drawn up fossil-free options for six example types of cultivation. The six types are lighted and unlighted tomato, chrysanthemum, alstroemeria, heated pot plant and radish. For these types, user profiles have been drawn up for the demand for heat, electricity, and CO2, assuming the current (modern) greenhouses and cultivation methods, but also for a greenhouse with extra energy saving techniques. Think about LED lighting, dehumidification with tangible heat recovery and extra screens.
The demand for heat has then been entered for the six types with a combination for heat from a heat network, deployment of geothermal energy or a heat pump. The advisers of AAB NL have, aided by a boiler room simulation, listed the costs of the various combinations.
These costs are determined by three price scenarios: a referent scenario (the current prices), a transition scenario (for example in 10 years) and an end scenario in which no fossil fuels can be used (as of 2040).
As expected, using co-generation for heat and electricity is the best option at the current price levels. Additionally, fossil-free heat from, for example, geothermic or biomass can be attractive because of SDE+ subsidies.
In case of rising energy prices, the situation can change rapidly. Particularly the deployment of a heat pump, which makes use of the heat of surface water, often comes up as an attractive alternative. Investments in energy savings are particularly important in future price scenarios to reduce the costs.
Source: Kas als Energiebron