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Gelderland-East region meeting report:

Greenhouse horticulture can learn from Greenpeace: "They have a seat at the table everywhere at the moment."

The Gelderland-East region of Glastuinbouw Nederland organized a well-attended meeting together with Greenport Arnhem-Nijmegen on Thursday evening, 10 November. The informative evening focused on energy. Speakers that evening were Adri Bom-Lemstra, chairman of Glastuinbouw Nederland, and Remco de Boer, an expert on international energy policy. Harry Vreman shares the report below on the advocacy group's website.

Adri Bom-Lemstra addressed all the initiatives the sector organization is undertaking to work with the government to achieve more stable energy prices and a package of innovations and investments aimed at accelerating the energy transition. "Point of concern is the changing policy of the government, the speed of phasing out fossil fuels, the level of gas prices, the development of alternative energy sources, and the length of licensing procedures."

After the break, Remco de Boer took the floor. The expert and publicist on international energy policy basically embraces the energy transition. But he is apprehensive about the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels without a sufficient supply of alternative energy. "The high price of natural gas is a consequence of scarcity. This is where Putin has played a role, but the switch-off of nuclear power, dependence on gas, and non-investment by large capital-rich fossil fuel giants, such as Shell, have had a bigger impact. Pension funds also failed to invest."

Socially, there was no support for further investment in fossil sources, De Boer believes. "But people also said no to alternatives such as onshore wind, biomass, and solar panels. See here where we are now."

Incidentally, he also warned greenhouse horticulture against being lulled to sleep by a temporary reduction in gas prices at the moment. Remco de Boer really does foresee an energy shortage in the winter of 2024. "Demand and supply will diverge even further then. A price cap is then going to cost a lot of money without a structural solution, however small."

If greenhouse horticulture is able to make its voice heard in an organized way in those places where policy is made, the sector can make a difference and invest in an affordable transition, according to the energy expert. "In this regard, look at parties like Greenpeace and the environmental movements. How have they arranged that? They have a seat at the table everywhere at the moment."

In conclusion, Remco de Boer told political directors in the greenhouse industry to make decisions that might hurt some. "You cannot please everyone. After all, the consequence is that nothing will happen then."

Source: Glastuinbouw Nederland 

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