Economical and environmental aspects of energy management in Belgian glasshouse horticulture

Dirk Van Lierde, Nicole Taragola, Koen Carels

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

    Abstract

    Glasshouse horticulture is a very energy intensive industry. Natural gas is more expensive than fuel oil, however it is more environmental friendly. The consumption and the different sources of energy in Belgian horticulture is calculated on the basis of an extrapolation model based on farm accountancy data of the Centre for Agricultural Economics and data from the agricultural census of the National Institute for Statistics. Factors influencing the switch over from fuel oil to natural gas are determined by means of interviews with 137 glasshouse managers (79 producers of ornamental plants and 58 producers of vegetables). 89 of the 137 respondents do not have the intention to switch over to natural gas. The reasons are : too expensive (38/89), too old (28/89), no pipeling (17/89), low energy use (5/89) and other reasons (1/89). 19/137 already have natural gas, and 29/137 do have the intention to switch over to natural gas. Companies which are already using natural gas are characterized by a high modernity, a larger size, growth objectives, a higher income, a higher energy intensity, and are mainly producers of energy intensive vegetables (like tomatoes). Companies who do not have the intention to switch over to natural gas mostly have an older firm manager. Companies which have the intention to switch over to natural gas are mainly in the ‘stabilisation’ phase of the firm life cycle and attach a high importance to subsidies. So, subsidies can be an important incentive for firm managers in the ‘stabilisation phase’ of the life cycle in order to stimulate the switch over from fuel oil to the more environmentally friendly natural gas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2002
    Event13th International IFMA Congress of Farm Management (2002). Feed the World - Please the Consumer - Maintain the Environment - Arnhem, Netherlands
    Duration: 7-Jul-200212-Jul-2002

    Conference

    Conference13th International IFMA Congress of Farm Management (2002). Feed the World - Please the Consumer - Maintain the Environment
    Abbreviated titleIFMA2002
    CountryNetherlands
    CityArnhem
    Period7/07/0212/07/02

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