Reduced energy use in the North Sea Region horticultural greenhouse industry


GreenGrowing strengthened the innovation capacity and competitiveness in the North Sea Region horticultural greenhouse industry and led to at least a 10% reduction of CO2 emissions.

The project combined a better climate control in the greenhouses, an improved use of novel greenhouse techniques and the use of climate tolerant plant types with ICT tools. Supported by intensive information strategies at the business level, GreenGrowing delivered cost savings and ensured sustainable production. The project created transnational networks linking SMEs, grower organizations and political bodies to transfer innovation and deliver a lasting impact.

01/10/2011 - 30/06/2015
1 - Building on our Capacity for Innovation
Area of Intervention
1.1 Building the innovation capacity of businesses
ERDF Grant
1,848,040.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
183,937.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
4,063,954.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Department of Horticulture, Aarhus University, Denmark
Carl-Otto Ottosen
Tel: +45 8999 3313
Beneficiaries per Country
Department of Horticulture, Aarhus University
Hochschule Osnabrück
LWK NI Hannover-Ahlem
Bioforsk Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research
SLU, Department of Horticulture, Swedish Agricultural University
PCS: Proefcentrum voor Sierteelt
PCG: Provinciaal Proefzentrum voor de Groenteteelt Oost-Vlaanderen
The Netherlands
Background and Aim


The ambition of GreenGrowing was to reduce energy consumption and CO2-emissions in greenhouses by at least 10%.

The project aimed to

1) implement strategies for energy savings
2) develop new breeding techniques
3) develop a suite of ICT based tools
4) embed documentation, validation and implementation initiatives
5) secure a collaborating platform for regional and national bodies.


Growing plants in greenhouses secures a supply of locally produced and high quality fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. During the past 100 years, the greenhouse industry in the North Sea Region has become an economically important and successful industry with a current turnover of approximately 10 billion Euros a year from an area of approximately 10,000 ha under glass.

Greenhouse production systems are becoming increasingly important because they can secure the future supply of quality products during times of climate change, but the energy consumption of the systems is high. Current energy use in the greenhouse industry is estimated to be 400 m³ oil/ha or equivalent to 1040 t CO2/ha. These energy costs are equivalent to 15-25% of the turnover, but recently the costs have increased steeply due to cold winters and increasing energy costs.

For both the orth Sea Region and the long term sustainability of the industry there is a critical need to reduce costs and to improve productivity, energy efficiency and sustainability via reducing CO2-emissions. There is the potential to significantly reduce energy costs in greenhouse production systems through the transfer of knowledge, technologies and eco-innovation into SMEs and the associated industries.

  • Strategies to increase the energy efficiency in greenhouses
  • Identification of plant material with increased tolerance to stress
  • Exemplary 'model greenhouses' from public or private initiatives as demonstration for growers
  • Delivery of an ICT system/module that will translate production and growth models into flexible energy demand curves enabling a flexible and smart use of energy
  • ICT system for energy use evaluation
  • ICT decision support platform with information on energy saving methods and technologies
  • Long lasting transnational network of public bodies

open house Hannover

sensor meeting

open house Hannover

openhouse Hannover

Open house

growers workshop

Greengrowing workshop Brisbane

Openday PCG

conferemce concerning greengrowing

open house

Photos from GreenGrowing

Photos from GreenGrowing

Photos from GreenGrowing

Photos from GreenGrowing

Event Calendar
Events Archive