Novalux points to rising demand for glasshouse biomass

The demand for biomass for glasshouses is currently increasing, according to Novalux Energy Solutions director Jamie Vaughan.

He said several growers in the Monmouthshire/Herefordshire/Gloucestershire area, where he is based, have made enquiries about heating systems.

"With heating being a large overhead for glasshouses and margins being squeezed, we believe that biomass can help to give those glasshouse companies looking to the future an edge on the competition.

"Wood fuel is less expensive than oil and LPG, which is typically used in the industry to heat glasshouses. The Renewable Heat Incentive that is paid to businesses on every kilowatt-hour of usable heat is using an eligible technology that lasts for 20 years and is index-linked. This essentially turns the heating cost from an overhead into an income stream."

He added that initial outlays can be from £100,000-£500,000 with systems suiting requirements of 1MW or less because how the subsidy system works. "There is a larger upfront capital cost in comparison to oil/gas boilers," he said. "However, the payback is usually between four and five years. We are also partnered with Lombard, which will finance these installations over a five-to-seven-year period."

Systems can connect directly into the existing wet systems or Novalux can retrofit its own water-to-air heat exchangers (hot air blowers) to circulate the heat.

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