Science - November 5, 2010

Greenhouses are not net energy producers

In spite of its name, the energy-producing greenhouse turns out to generate less energy than it uses.

This has emerged from the 'Greenhouse as energy resource' competition, in which three demonstration greenhouses at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture in Bleiswijk have produced less energy than scientists and designers had expected.
The 'Sun & wind greenhouse' for growing pot plants currently generates 82 percent of the energy it needs. In theory the greenhouse can generate 100 percent of its heating requirements, but the costs incurred for underground heat storage are too high. The other two demo greenhouses only produce more energy than they use if they can sell their surplus heat to other companies.

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