Water-heated glasshouse can cut carbon emissions

One of the world’s first glasshouses to run without oil and gas but to tap into hot water hundreds of feet below ground has been opened, a NFU-hosted conference in Brighton heard last week.

The building is operated by heat generated from solar engineering and was opened last year, the first of its kind in Holland. Dr Doeke Faber, president of the International Association of Horticultural Producers, said: “Heat is stored throughout water in aquifers [91m to 122m] below ground. “The warm water is pumped up in winter while cold water is circulated in summer. The worldwide horticulture sector has been dragged through a harsh economic world order. Energy prices have more than doubled and we are faced with a new and hazardous problem: CO2 emissions.” NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said a recent energy-saving scheme for horticulture producers helped growers cut CO2 emissions by 50,000 tonnes last year. This was equal to taking 15,000 family cars off the road and allowed the growers taking part to cut fuel bills by £6.5m. But HDC chairman Colin Harvey told last week’s congress of the International Association of Horticultural Producers: “We need to put sense and science back into the carbon-footprint debate. “The position in this country is to do something, never mind what. We must ask ourselves if we have a good system to allow us to understand the full implications. “There’s some fuzzy thinking and we risk spending a lot of resources and time going down the wrong avenues. “One of our biggest challenges is the Government, which is systematically reducing its funding for research and development.”

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