New Tool Helps Greenhouse Growers Calculate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hortinergya software product launched in 2018 by Agrithermic that helps growers map out energy savings, now features a new add-on: calculations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of vegetables produced in greenhouses. The tool helps grower estimate the environmental impact of vegetable production. 

The new feature takes several different parameters into account:  

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  • Embodied energy of the greenhouse structure
  • Heating and cooling
  • Liquid CO2
  • Electricity
  • Nutrients
  • Substrate
  • Transport

Hortinergy Greenhouse Gas Emissions Chart The above example compares three heating techniques for tomato production under a venlo greenhouse: 

  • Gas boiler with CO2 collector in a classic greenhouse, 
  • Renewable energy with injection of liquid CO2 in a classic greenhouse, 
  • Renewable energy with injection of liquid CO2 in a semi-closed greenhouse.

Energy is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). If the greenhouse is heated with renewable energy, the liquid CO2 becomes the most important source. The embodied energy required to manufacture the greenhouse (amortized over the greenhouse life) may be greater than the total amount of other inputs.  

Hortinergy offers a simple and fast way to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using approved scientific methods. 

With Hortinergy, growers can design and model online any type of greenhouse all over the world. Hortinergy includes specific parameters of greenhouses:  

  • Types of greenhouse, transparent covers, screens
  • Different crops (tomato, cucumber, strawberry, cannabis) and their evapotranspiration
  • Climate setpoints similar as those of a climate computer (temperature, humidity, light)
  • Different equipment (semi-closed greenhouse, buffer tank, lighting).