GREENERGY : Energy optimisation in European greenhouses
Department of Human and Environmental Sciences
Health & Human Sciences Research Institute
Agriculture and Environment Research Unit
It is estimated that greenhouses cover an area of about 41000 ha in the European Union, setting Europe as the biggest supplier of greenhouse products in the world. At the same time, as Eastern European markets open up, the EU is also becoming the biggest consumer of greenhouse products in the world. The competitiveness of European growers is however threatened by increasing fuel costs and competition from growers outside of Europe with lower production costs. The main contributor to production costs for European growers is from energy consumption, thus the optimisation of the energy intensive systems and operating procedures in existing greenhouse production will reduce these costs. In addition, a reduction in energy consumption will also help growers to contend with the increasingly restrictive environmental regulations that affect the sector. In this project, the greenhouse energy requirements for four different geographical areas within Europe were investigated. A tool for auditing energy efficiency in greenhouses, a set of technical improvement measures and a guideline for the optimisation of energy consumption in European greenhouses was developed and tested by a number of growers and advisors across Europe.