As noted in our initial article “Are you energy efficient”? (March 2012), managing energy use is the first step in the Journey of Energy Excellence for Greenhouses program. The type of crop, weather conditions, equipment purchased and equipment operation impacts daily, monthly, seasonal and annual energy usage. How you use energy and what you need to obtain from it (heat, light, CO2, etc) impacts the type of energy used, as well as procurement for commodities and transportation.
It even affects your distribution costs. When looking to optimise energy use, it is prudent to look at those who are already very successful, managing their energy and implementing worldwide best practices. The Netherlands is seen as being a global leader in greenhouse management, and over the past 30 years, it has refined its practices so much so that it has improved energy efficiency by over 50 percent. So, what can we learn from the Netherlands and how can we transpose those lessons to North America? To learn from it, we must understand how it became the most energy efficient greenhouse operator in the world.

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