In 2022, there was a decrease in the amount of applied energy from biofuel produced by Dutch horticulture itself (-9%). This is according to Wageningen Economic Research's "Energy Monitor of Dutch Horticulture 2022".
The decrease is because growers were more frugal with energy during the crisis, because of the relatively high prices for biofuels, and because of competition with heat produced with natural gas CHP when selling electricity. The use of biofuel energy from projects operated by parties outside horticulture also decreased. In these central biofuel projects for the supply of base-, medium- and peak-load capacity, purchases decreased due to the selective use of energy, as heat prices often moved (in part) with the increased price of natural gas.
The number of greenhouses applying biofuel in 2022 was stable at 50 companies and 416 hectares. Of these, there were 7 companies with a combined area of 70 ha that used biofuel to generate heat and
electricity (bio-CHP). Of the acreage with biofuel, about three-quarters was in vegetable cultivation and the rest in ornamental cultivation (plants and flowers).
Wood has been the main biofuel for horticulture for years. There were 47 companies using residual wood from industry or prunings from greenery as fuel. Three companies got their biofuel from fermentation and converted it to heat and electricity with a bio-CHP.
In 2022, 47 greenhouses participated in operating of a biofuel plant, and bio-heat was supplied to 3 other greenhouse locations.
Of the total amount of biofuel energy applied (own production 2.15 PJ and third-party procurement 2.82 PJ; together 4.97 PJ) in 2022, almost 44% came from projects where greenhouse horticulture companies were risk-bearing operators themselves.
Future uncertainties remain for biofuel energy projects, including the nitrogen file and the social debate surrounding the assessment of
biomass as a sustainable energy source is relevant here.
Source: WUR Energy Monitor