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...
LumiGrow Pro Series E -feature

May 29, 2017

New LED Options Designed to Boost Greenhouse Plant Quality

LumiGrow and Philips recently introduced high-efficiency lighting options that are designed to reduce energy costs and improve crop consistency.

Read More
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

May 28, 2017

Growers Offer Advice on What to Know Before Your Next Building Project

Two Top 100 Growers discuss their most recent building projects, the challenges they addressed, and what they learned during the process.

Read More
Boxcar Central Monitoring Farm Environmental Conditions

May 26, 2017

New Software System From Boxcar Central Takes Growing Data to the Cloud

Boxcar Central’s data-hub platform allows growers to log mass amounts of data and use it to compile information on crop quality.

Read More
Latest Stories
LumiGrow Pro Series E -feature

May 29, 2017

New LED Options Designed to Boost Greenhouse Plant Qual…

LumiGrow and Philips recently introduced high-efficiency lighting options that are designed to reduce energy costs and improve crop consistency.

Read More
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

May 28, 2017

Growers Offer Advice on What to Know Before Your Next B…

Two Top 100 Growers discuss their most recent building projects, the challenges they addressed, and what they learned during the process.

Read More
Boxcar Central Monitoring Farm Environmental Conditions

May 26, 2017

New Software System From Boxcar Central Takes Growing D…

Boxcar Central’s data-hub platform allows growers to log mass amounts of data and use it to compile information on crop quality.

Read More
Bell Nursery Panorama Photo

May 24, 2017

Sustainability in the Greenhouse is More Than Just Abou…

Bell Nursery has taken several steps over the years to make our operation more sustainable from a technological standpoint. Here’s how we are doing it.

Read More
Irrigation boom at Cavicchio Greenhouses

May 23, 2017

The Road to Sustainability at Cavicchio Greenhouses

Incremental changes to reduce its carbon footprint have paid off in greater efficiency and public recognition for this Massachusetts greenhouse grower.

Read More
SBI New Mobi App

May 17, 2017

SBI’s New App Helps Greenhouse Growers Improve Customer…

Mobi Merchandiser is a management tool and mobile app that greenhouse growers can use for planning recurring store visits, repetitive store tasks, picture requirements, and automating buyer reporting.

Read More
Lighting Book Light Management in Controlled Environments

April 24, 2017

“Light Management in Controlled Environments̶…

An expanded update to “Lighting Up Profits,” this new lighting book unlocks the secrets of managing light to enhance greenhouse crop production.

Read More
GGS Cannabis Production

April 19, 2017

Suppliers Can Offer Technical Solutions for New Cannabi…

Here’s a look at how a few manufacturers have partnered with growers to make their transition into cannabis a smooth one, whether it’s through hands-on guidance or partnering with other industry leaders.

Read More
LumiGrow Growers Council

April 17, 2017

LumiGrow’s Latest Lighting Research Highlighted in Grow…

Industry leaders representing a broad range of vegetable, floriculture, and cannabis producers gathered to learn how to implement modern lighting strategies for their own production.

Read More
Venlo Greenhouse (Westbrook Greenhouse Systems Ltd.)

April 13, 2017

AmericanHort’s Production Technology Conference To Debu…

The AmericanHort Production Technology Conference is designed to give nursery and greenhouse growers a chance to get hands-on with the latest advancements in production technology and explore the return on investment potential of equipment purchases and upgrades.

Read More
Woods Greenhouses Sentinel Monitoring System

April 1, 2017

How Suppliers Are Addressing Remote Monitoring Needs fo…

Even the slightest shift in the greenhouse environment can wreak havoc on your plants. Find out what manufacturers are doing to help you address these problems.

Read More
Socius Webinar

March 30, 2017

Webinar to Offer Tips on Properly Managing Your Busines…

“How to Survive and Thrive: New Revenue Building Tools for Growers,” presented by Socius, takes place on April 6.

Read More
PanePower Glass Panels (Brite Solar) feature

March 30, 2017

The Latest in Greenhouse Coverings Technology

New materials from leading manufacturers are designed to maximize light diffusion and create a more efficient growing environment.

Read More
Argus Multi-Feed RM - feature

March 26, 2017

Feeding System Allows For More Precise Delivery of Nutr…

Argus Controls’ Multi-Feed RM100 is designed to help producers custom-feed their plants based on specific nutrient recipes.

Read More
GrowSpan Series 1000 Greenhouse (GrowSpan) feature

March 24, 2017

New Greenhouse Structure Models Emphasize Crop Protecti…

Manufacturers of new structure models say they are responding to grower concerns with designs that focus on ventilation, maximizing your space, and incorporating a wide range of crops. Here’s a look at some of their latest offerings.

Read More
Emerald Coast Growers Seed RoomTight feature

March 22, 2017

An Inside Look at Emerald Coast Growers’ New Seed…

Florida-based liner producer Emerald Coast Growers custom retrofitted and expanded an existing greenhouse, with the goal of increasing production efficiency.

Read More
Lemnis Oreon Lights

March 21, 2017

Lemnis Oreon, EnviroTech Cultivation Solutions to Partn…

EnviroTech’s expertise in energy and water technology fits perfectly with the water-cooling solution of Oreon Grow Lights, according to the companies.

Read More
Measuring the light distribution from an LED lamp - feature

March 17, 2017

Consider Evaluating the Benefits of LED Lighting for Yo…

Despite the potentially high installation cost of LED lighting, several advantages mean it’s worth considering. Collecting information and conducting small-scale trials can help you make LED lighting profitable at your operation.

Read More