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Greenhouse-Village in the Netherlands, a self-

sufficient Complex
Greenhouse-Village is a new design for greenhouse-powered neighbourhoods
with decentralised water and wastewater facilities. This design is based on
innovative greenhouses that store excess heat from solar radiation during the
summer and deliver it to heat greenhouses and houses during the winter.
Energy balances show that 2 hectare greenhouses can heat and supply facilities
to up to 200 houses.

The greenhouse sector in the Netherlands is world-famous for the production and export of flowers,
plants and vegetables. This sector, which is highly energy-intensive and consumes almost 10% of the
Netherlands' total gas consumption, has a leading position in the development and implementation of
innovative technologies for energy, water and climate control.
In this framework, the recent Greenhouse-Village concept, developed
by InnovationNetwork and a consortium of Dutch companies, was
nominated for the prestigious French Altran Award in 2006. The
project consists in a new design for a greenhouse-powered
neighbourhood with decentralised water and wastewater facilities.
The whole complex is self-sufficient in energy and water and recycles
nutrients and carbon. The design is based on the following principle:
the sun provides far more energy than the global economy needs. If
this energy could be harvested and stored, much of the global energy
problem could be solved.

First energy-producing greenhouses


The technical design of Greenhouse-
Village contains four sub-systems that The first energy-producing greenhouses were established in the
Netherlands in 2006. They attracted a lot of media coverage
are closely connected:
and the attention of members of the Dutch parliament. The
1. The energy system: The design is results are above expectations: the energy-producing
based on an innovative greenhouse that greenhouses resulted in an increase in vegetable harvests of
harvests the excess heat from solar 20% and a total suppression of fossil fuel use. It is largely
expected that the energy-producing greenhouses will
radiation during the summer and stores it
revolutionize the entire greenhouse business. This will turn
in natural underground water reservoirs. the horticultural sector from a natural gas consumer (10%
The energy stored is used for heating of Dutch annual consumption) into a sustainable energy
greenhouses and houses at night or provider.
during the winter.
2. The water system: The grey water of the households (from the shower and kitchen) is purified in
an aerobic bioreactor and is used for irrigating the plants in the greenhouse. This water is converted into
vapour by the plants, condenses and is collected. The collected water serves as a source of tap water
for the households.
3. The carbon cycle system: The different biowastes (black water from toilets, organic kitchen waste
and residual plant material) are converted into biogas by bacteria. The biogas is combusted in a gas
turbine and is used to produce electricity and to heat tap water.
4. The nutrient system: In addition to biogas production, the biowaste treatment produces liquid
effluents containing nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These minerals are essential for
plant growth and are used in the greenhouse.

June 2007
Edited by BIO Intelligence Service 1/2
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/etap
Through an energy balance, it is calculated that 2 hectares of greenhouse can provide sufficient
energy to heat 200 houses throughout the year. Moreover, calculations integrating costs of extra
investments and savings have shown that the system could be cost-effective on this scale. Thus,
Greenhouse-Village is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly and economical solution.

In the Netherlands, Greenhouse-Village


has proven to be a remarkable success.
Farmers’ organisations have welcomed the
concept enthusiastically and various city
councils are currently considering the
feasibility of Greenhouse-Village in new
urban developments.
The recent nomination for the prestigious
French Altran Award brought
Greenhouse-Village onto the international
stage, resulting in the first moves towards
international expansion. As a result, a first
international demonstration project is
currently under development in Shenzen,
China,
Combined greenhouse and houses in Greenhouse-Village

Sources:

• Greenhouse-Village report by InnovationNetwork (in Dutch)


http://www.zonneterp.nl/zonneterp.pdf
• InnovationNetwork web-site: http://www.agro.nl/innovatienetwerk

Additional information has been kindly furnished by Eur Van Andel from Fiwihex.

Contact:
Eur van Andel
E-mail: eur@fiwihex.nl
Fiwihex B.V. Wierdensestraat 74, NL7604BK Almelo, Netherlands
Tel : +31 546 491 106

June 2007
Edited by BIO Intelligence Service 2/2
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/etap