Sustainable heating of Dutch greenhouses
Geothermal energy is expected to play an important role in helping meet climate targets. New innovative heat exchangers from Alfa Laval support the solution.DATE 2020-07-06 AUTHOR David Landes PHOTO Graham Samuels
The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest food exporter by value, and the country’s 9000 hectares of greenhouses are a big reason why. But keeping those greenhouses the right temperature requires lost of energy, so developing alternative energy sources is a top priority in the country’s efforts to meet its ambitious climate targets.
The Dutch government has pledged to be free of natural gas by 2030 and reduce CO2-equivalent emissions by 49 percent compared to 1990 levels. The greenhouse sector is already taking steps toward using renewable energy, with several geothermal energy plants coming online in recent years.
Geothermal heating works by pumping up warm water from deep inside the earth (usually 1,000 to 5,000 meters deep). The warm water can then be used to heat greenhouses, reducing the need for natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Heat exchangers play a key role in harnessing the benefits to geothermal energy, ensuring efficient heat transfer between the warm water coming up from the ground and the cooler water that has been used to heat greenhouses or other buildings.
In 2017, Alfa Laval launched a new geothermal-optimised heat exchanger design as part of a pilot project, which has since resulted three other plants being retrofitted with the Alfa Laval solution. The new plants featuring the Alfa Laval design are also in the pipeline.
And with current plans calling for the building of an estimated 175 geothermal installations by 2030, chances are Alfa Laval heat exchangers will have a central role in reducing energy use and emissions form Dutch greenhouses for many years to come.
Alfa Laval contributes to the Global Goals
The United Nations has adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, known as Global Goals, that world leaders have pledged to achieve. Now it is up to businesses like ours to take us there.
Geothermal heating works by extracting the heat from underground water sources. The further underground the water, the hotter it usually is. In the Netherlands, geothermal heat plants pump warm water up from depths of at least 500 meters. After the water has been used, the cooler water is returned to the ground.
Are you curious?
At Alfa Laval, we always go that extra mile to overcome the toughest challenges. Our driving force is to accelerate success for our customers, people and planet. You can only do that by having dedicated people with a curious mind. Curiosity is the spark behind great ideas. And great ideas drive progress.
In our Career section you find opportunities for curious minds to have a lasting impact on some of the planet’s most urgent problems.
Advancing better. With Alfa Laval.
Our award-winning magazine
Innovative food processing to turn bugs to burgers, or new technology to store renewable energy are only two examples of articles in the new edition of HERE magazine. The articles illustrate what we mean by responsible growth, providing solutions that benefit both people and planet. HERE won the Swedish Publishing Prize in 2019.
Alfa Laval's annual report
In our latest annual report, you can read about the year that past, the trends that drive our business and the industries we serve. It will also give you a better understanding of our people, products and services, and how innovation and sustainability is an important part of everything we do.