Reduced energy use in the North Sea Region horticultural greenhouse industry

Background and Aim


The ambition of GreenGrowing was to reduce energy consumption and CO2-emissions in greenhouses by at least 10%.

The project aimed to

1) implement strategies for energy savings
2) develop new breeding techniques
3) develop a suite of ICT based tools
4) embed documentation, validation and implementation initiatives
5) secure a collaborating platform for regional and national bodies.


Growing plants in greenhouses secures a supply of locally produced and high quality fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. During the past 100 years, the greenhouse industry in the North Sea Region has become an economically important and successful industry with a current turnover of approximately 10 billion Euros a year from an area of approximately 10,000 ha under glass.

Greenhouse production systems are becoming increasingly important because they can secure the future supply of quality products during times of climate change, but the energy consumption of the systems is high. Current energy use in the greenhouse industry is estimated to be 400 m³ oil/ha or equivalent to 1040 t CO2/ha. These energy costs are equivalent to 15-25% of the turnover, but recently the costs have increased steeply due to cold winters and increasing energy costs.

For both the orth Sea Region and the long term sustainability of the industry there is a critical need to reduce costs and to improve productivity, energy efficiency and sustainability via reducing CO2-emissions. There is the potential to significantly reduce energy costs in greenhouse production systems through the transfer of knowledge, technologies and eco-innovation into SMEs and the associated industries.

PROJECT DURATION: 2011-10-01 - 2015-06-30
ERDF GRANT: 1,848,040.00 €
ERDF EQUIVALENT: 183,937.00 €
LEAD BENEFICIARY: Department of Horticulture, Aarhus University, Denmark