At the Svensson Boost Your Energy event on Thursday evening, 2nd of June, at the WHC in Naaldwijk, everything revolved around energy saving, the biggest challenge for the grower at this moment.
Greenhouse horticulture in particular is hit hard by the high energy prices. Gas is no longer taken for granted. The challenges are so great that in the short term, the main focus is on saving energy.
First of all, Paul Arkesteijn of Svensson shared the positive results of the various tests at the Improvement Centre with the use of double and triple climate screens. The results show that an extra high energy saving can be realized with double screens and that the use of double energy screens does not come at the expense of the crop.
Then his colleague Bart Bakker showed how important it is to compare “apples with apples” when buying a climate screen. Two things are important: the light transmission – both direct and hemispheric (diffuse) – and the Hortiscatter or light distribution (diffusivity). Thanks to the updated NEN standard (based on a study by Wageningen University), it is now possible to compare different materials – diffuse glass, chalk screens, and climate screens. And growers can be certain of their performance. And that sometimes makes a difference in percentages in light.
How much can you save with a screen? Svensson has developed an energy calculator for this purpose. It is a tool for calculating how much energy a second or third screen will save on an annual basis. Advisor Hugo Plaisier called on the growers to make use of it.
Ton Habraken explained about ClimaFlow. With ClimaFlow, growers can keep their climate screens closed, thus exploiting all the advantages of the climate screens and creating the best climate for the crop. The Svensson advisory team supports growers during the entire installation and implementation process.
Afterwards, Marcel Dries, energy advisor at AAB NL, showed the solutions for using energy more efficiently. First and foremost, it’s about saving, saving, and saving again. Energy screens reduce energy loss, and also not unimportant in this story is the 25% subsidy that the government currently gives on the purchase of a second energy screen, provided that the light transmission of that screen is at least 75%. If you make more screen hours, you cannot do without active dehumidification by means of tubes, vertical ventilators, or active dehumidification devices in the greenhouse. Replacing SON-t with LED lighting is also an important energy saver, and EC subsidies are available for this too. Saving energy with geothermal heat and other heat-saving options were also discussed.
After the coffee break, Erik Suichies, Director of Wholesale Vattenfall, explained everything about the current developments in the energy market at home and abroad. Vattenfall is one of the largest producers of electricity and heat in Europe and, like Svensson, has Swedish roots.
Jeannette den Boer, Erik Suichies (Vattenfall), Paul Arkesteijn (Svensson) and Marcel Dries of AAB NL
Erik emphasizes that it is important to use all the resources we have. The fact is that all alternatives to Russian gas are, by definition, more expensive. The biggest challenge at the moment is the gas supply. The big question is, what are we going to do? The Netherlands and the EU must ensure clarity in the short and long term. For now, it is important to ensure that the gas storage facilities are filled for the coming winter. In the long term, it is very important to secure alternative sources, to provide clarity about all forms of electricity generation, and to speed up the issuing of permits for new sustainable production. We must use all the resources we have.
In conclusion, Ton Habraken emphasized the importance of good advice. For growers, creating the perfect greenhouse climate is a huge challenge. It is not easy to achieve an even temperature and the ideal humidity. “With Climate House, Svensson’s advisory service, the grower can gain a better understanding of the greenhouse climate so that the quality of cultivation can be improved.”
For more information on the energy calculator:
T: +31 (0) 6 55 398 202
For more information on ClimateHouse:
T: +31 (0) 6 52 67 41 45
Marcel Dries, Advisor
Marloes Westgeest, Market manager Agri