Finance

Greenhouse growers worried about gas shortage: forced shutdown threatens

The need is great, says Adri Bom-Lemstra from Westland, chairman of Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands. “The energy price is now ten times as high as it was a year ago. Other sectors often pass on these higher costs in the sales price. However, this almost never happens in greenhouse horticulture. Due to the high costs, they are using up their reserves. Many growers are considering stop.”

There is another problem. The gas threatens to run out, which means that even growers who do not want this may be forced to stop. At Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands, the telephone is red hot due to concerns that live among the members.

Stock almost out

Prices have been rising since October due to the small reserves. The stock is small, but the growers thought they would get through the winter with it.

“AgroEnergy, an energy supplier for gas horticulture, shows the stock every week. If you calculate the consumption now, we will be at the end of the stock in five to ten weeks.”

years of suffering

No gas is no heating. Bom-Lemstra: “In the event of heavy snowfall, this means that the greenhouses can literally collapse. But in any case, even without snow, it means that the harvest is lost. It often concerns perennial plants, you cannot just switch off the heating for a few months because you suffer from that for years.”

Reason for consultation at the ministry. This should guarantee the gas supplies, according to Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands.

Groningen gas

The options are being discussed with the ministry. Suggestions from the trade association: turning on the gas tap in Groningen, despite the nuisance for residents, or delaying the completion of coal-fired power stations. Just this week, the outgoing cabinet said that coal-fired power stations may only run at 35 percent of their capacity from 1 January, because they emit a lot of CO2.

“We have put forward those kinds of options ourselves and we hope that the ministry has more ideas. Only when you have all the options in view can you make choices together with the government,” concludes Bom-Lemstra.

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