"For growers, it's easier to decide than, say, pesticide use," he said. "Everything about energy use is pushing or pulling you in the same direction."
He outlined HDC projects in the area. Its "biggest-ever energy project" is in the first of a scheduled three years looking into using ducted air heating and ventilation to circulate air around the glasshouse, keeping temperature, humidity and CO2 uniform.
The trial involves heating pipes ducted under tomato gutters in a 1ha commercial nursery. "But you could put it under benches too," he said. "With this, you could heat a glasshouse with 50degC water. That could be from waste heat sources from other industry sources - which is not the case for water at 90degC."
One such potential heat source, he added, was water arising as a by-product from another HDC-backed project, to use plate heat exchangers to provide cool air for refrigeration.
A further HDC project is currently assessing the viability of biomass as a heat source."
- Current negotiations on the future of the Climate Change Agreement, which FEC runs on the NFU's behalf, will see it extended from 2012 to 2017. At present, growers receive an 80 per cent discount from the Climate Change Levy, in return for meeting energy efficiency or carbon saving targets.