Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

The exhibitor count at this year’s Horti Fair is down dramatically from 2008. One exhibitor I spoke with mentioned the number of exhibit halls being used is down from 11 in 2008 to seven this year. Still, if horticulture is your field, Horti Fair is the place to be.

I spent the day visiting as many of the exhibit halls as I could, but the majority of my time was spent in Horti Fair’s House of Technology. Willem van der Loo, Horti Fair managing director, piqued my interest when he spoke of growers making an additional living producing and selling electricity. I was curious how growers were producing electricity and how many of them were selling it.

Aroen Bechan, a representative from a Dutch electric company called Endon that helps growers sell electricity, offered me some answers. Bechan explained how many Dutch growers have turned to combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration or generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source.

“It’s a plant that also uses natural gas but produces half the amount of heat,” Bechan says. “This means that you must use twice the amount of gas to make the same amount of heat. But a generator produces up to 43 percent of electricity. This makes the total return 93 percent for each cubic meter of gas. The benefits for the electricity are high enough to compensate the additional gas and investment and also covers a reduction compared to use gas in a boiler.”

Van der Loo views the CHP usage as one of the most impressive technological Dutch developments growers are using.

“Technical solutions, for instance, cut costs in power use,” van der Loo says. “There are growers who find a solution doing just that, and they grow their own power. In some circumstances, there are growers who sell the power back to the public network or to the power producers. There are days in the year where growers earn more by selling electricity than effectively selling cucumbers or paprikash.

“In these difficult economic times, if you are ahead in your technical developments and automation, you’ll probably have a better chance to survive.”

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

  1. I still do not understand why governments are not suporting CHP in north America and power suppliers are against it. It’s a no brainer I think.

  2. The equipment for cogeneration is VERY expensive. Your boiler equipment actually performs better if it is used 24/7 365 days a year. However our government sets the price of electricity abnormally low (is that a supprise?) So until energy policies shift cogeneration is not profitable in the US

  3. I still do not understand why governments are not suporting CHP in north America and power suppliers are against it. It’s a no brainer I think.

  4. The equipment for cogeneration is VERY expensive. Your boiler equipment actually performs better if it is used 24/7 365 days a year. However our government sets the price of electricity abnormally low (is that a supprise?) So until energy policies shift cogeneration is not profitable in the US

More From Technology...
Philips-Lighting-rose-toplighting-recipe

April 22, 2018

New LED Toplighting System From Philips is Optimized for Roses

Available for European rose growers, the GreenPower LED system features a light spectrum designed for cut rose cultivation, leading to bigger buds and heavier stems.

Read More
Lowpad-feature

April 12, 2018

New Automatic Guided Vehicle Helps Move Product Around the Greenhouse

The Lowpad is less than 5 inches tall and is designed to navigate the greenhouse floor safely and freely.

Read More
Greenhouse-retrofit-with-Reglazing-2

April 10, 2018

How to Decide Whether to Build a New Greenhouse Structure or Retrofit an Existing One

Is it time for you to update your greenhouse structure? Follow this tips from L.L. Klink to help you decide whether it’s better to retrofit an existing structure or build a new one.

Read More
Latest Stories
Philips-Lighting-rose-toplighting-recipe

April 22, 2018

New LED Toplighting System From Philips is Optimized fo…

Available for European rose growers, the GreenPower LED system features a light spectrum designed for cut rose cultivation, leading to bigger buds and heavier stems.

Read More
Lowpad-feature

April 12, 2018

New Automatic Guided Vehicle Helps Move Product Around …

The Lowpad is less than 5 inches tall and is designed to navigate the greenhouse floor safely and freely.

Read More
Greenhouse-retrofit-with-Reglazing-2

April 10, 2018

How to Decide Whether to Build a New Greenhouse Structu…

Is it time for you to update your greenhouse structure? Follow this tips from L.L. Klink to help you decide whether it’s better to retrofit an existing structure or build a new one.

Read More
Battlefield-Farms-Vertical-Farming-feature

April 9, 2018

A Look Beyond the Hype of Vertical Farming

Big money and sexy technology may be hallmarks of this rapidly growing industry, but it still has some lessons to learn before it can feed the world.

Read More

April 5, 2018

Building Custom Solutions With L.L. Klink

Through its vertically integrated family of businesses and collaboration with greenhouse manufacturers and equipment suppliers, L.L. Klink Greenhouse Solutions works with growers and institutions to design, build, maintain, and furnish greenhouse structures.

Read More
Rob-Lando-feature

April 4, 2018

Meet Greenhouse Grower Technology’s New Advisory …

Technology experts including growers, researchers, and industry suppliers will serve as a guiding voice on the big trends shaping innovation in the greenhouse.

Read More
Texas-Tech-University-Guo_Drone

April 3, 2018

The Top Schools for Precision Ag Education

Technology is a key area of focus for young greenhouse industry members. Check out some of the top universities where they are honing their skills, and where the next generation can turn.

Read More
GrowSpan-Series-500-Tall-Greenhouse-GrowSpan-feature

March 30, 2018

The Latest in Structures: New Greenhouse Systems Offer …

Structures manufacturers and suppliers say their grower customers are asking for new models that can accommodate a diverse crop mix, while providing flexibility in design, maintenance, and control of the environment. Here’s a closer look at some of the latest options.

Read More
Iwasaki-Brothers-LED-Lighting-feature

March 25, 2018

How You Can Run Your Business More Efficiently with LED…

The energy-savings potential of LED lighting systems can lead to a quick investment return.

Read More
Greenbelt-Microgreens-Heliospectra-HelioCORE-feature

March 23, 2018

New Light Management System Aims for Consistent Plant P…

The HelioCORE light control software system is designed to help growers automatically manage supplemental lighting and adjust schedules and intensity in real time.

Read More
Illumitex-NeoPAR-7-bar-feature

March 21, 2018

New Lighting Series is Adaptable to Several Environment…

The NeoPAR series from Illumitex is designed to foster photosynthesis in all stages of plant development.

Read More
Dramm TracFOG Nozzle Extension

March 14, 2018

Dramm Offering New Video Chat Option for Service Issues…

The Dramm Corporation recently introduced two new resources for its greenhouse grower customers to deal with indoor growing conditions.

Read More
Ever Bloom Robot Sprayer

March 5, 2018

Technology Will Change the Face of Horticulture Within …

Every once in a while, I’ll see a grower post a video on social media, showing off some new transplanter, harvesting robot, or another kind of automation equipment and explaining what it is and how it’s making a difference in the growing operation. Inevitably, these videos get tons of clicks, likes, and comments. Most are from people outside the industry who say something like, “Wow, that’s really cool!” or “I had no idea greenhouses were so high-tech!” But then there are the folks who make comments about the automation taking away greenhouse jobs. The grower who posted the video typically responds, explaining that the automation actually doesn’t displace any workers — they’re just reassigned to higher value functions — and that reliable employees are extremely difficult to find in our industry, thus the need for automation. The reality is, due to our current labor struggles, it’s likely our industry will […]

Read More
Harvest-Automation-Robot-at-Green-Circle-Growers-feature

February 28, 2018

How to Make Plants Better With Automation

Automation does more than help with labor problems. Other tangible benefits also make automating the greenhouse worth the effort and cost.

Read More
Lighting-Heating-Fans-Inspection

February 26, 2018

The Benefits of a Greenhouse Maintenance Plan and Check…

A greenhouse maintenance plan and checklist can reduce equipment failures, improve equipment efficiency, and boost long-term profits.

Read More
Visser PC 16 Transplanter feature

February 26, 2018

20 Technology Trends Driving the Greenhouse Industry in…

From automation to artificial intelligence, check out this video for a closer look at how greenhouse growers are investing in technology in 2018.

Read More
Gotham Greens Atrium Style Greenhouse Chicago

February 17, 2018

Gotham Greens Building Second Greenhouse in Suburban Ch…

The new $12.5 million, 105,000-square-foot greenhouse will be near the company’s first Chicago greenhouse, and will be a free-standing structure.

Read More
Water-Sensor-for-pH-in-cannabis-greenhouse

February 5, 2018

Tips for Using a Greenhouse Monitoring System to Protec…

Properly selecting and installing a remote monitoring system can help cannabis growers identify trends in environmental conditions to make sure they aren’t fluctuating, which could indicate a possible equipment problem.

Read More