TNI | Terra Natura International

Feature: energy-efficient cultivation with geothermal energy

Feature: energy-efficient cultivation with geothermal energy

Cultivating fruit vegetables while respecting people, the environment, and the surrounding area is a paramount concern for all Harvest House growers. Our growers are fully aware of their role in wider society and are always mindful of all aspects of their business operations. Implementing sustainable solutions such as energy-efficient cultivation with geothermal energy is a significant example.

The naturally occurring heat of the earth, or geothermal energy, is used to heat the greenhouses, by extracting hot water and steam from underground reservoirs, deep below the surface of the earth. After the heat is transferred to the greenhouse climate control systems, the now cooled water is injected back into the ground where it is reheated. This keeps the system in balance and provides access to a permanent source of energy.

Utilising geothermal energy in this way not only reduces the consumption of natural gas, but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions. In doing so, the growers are no longer wholly or even partially dependent on fossil fuels.

One of the greatest advantages of geothermal energy is that it is always available. The constant supply of heat from the earth ensures an essentially limitless supply of energy for several million years to come. Compared to other sustainable sources of energy such as wind or solar power, geothermal energy offers the following significant advantages:
• an energy source with a relatively low cost-base
• a predictable and reliable source of energy
• a direct contribution to a better living environment and a cleaner future

Several of our growers are already connected to a geothermal power source:
• eleven growers fulfil between 25% and 75% of their heating requirements with geothermal energy
• A combined growing area of 393 hectares utilise a geothermal energy solution, compared to six hectares in 2013
• This represents 44% of the total area

We expect to see a significant increase in the use of geothermal energy in the coming years, together with a significant decrease in our dependence on fossil fuels. There are also several new projects currently under development or due to be implemented in the near future.

Photo: KNMI