Carbon-LED – Carbon footprint reduction via LED based production systems

Published on
February 5, 2016

In the Carbon-LED project, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture cooperates with companies and research partners to realize a low-carbon LED based production system which will reduce the carbon footprint by up to 45% compared to systems using conventional High Pressure Sodium lamps. This project is funded by Climate-KIC and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The use of assimilation lighting in greenhouse horticulture is increasing continuously, driven by the need to fulfill the market demand of year-round high quality products. The current revolution in LED technology creates a unique opportunity to realize highly efficient production systems based on LED light.

The current CO2 emission of the sector amounts to 20 Mton/year in Europe. A full transition from traditional lighting, now used in about 30% of greenhouses, to LED-based production systems could save up to 3 Mton of CO2 per year. Identified key barriers to massive adoption are: financial situation of the growers, economic viability and limited experimental evidence for LED based production systems in all addressable markets. To overcome these barriers and achieve full conversion to LED lighting systems quickly, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticultures uses state-of-the-art 3D crop models to design new production systems which are followed by trials to show that these systems can be used in practice, with scalable climate impact.

The commitment of the business partners Philips and Bayer Crop Science, in partnership with Wageningen UR and INRA, and StartLife, will drive market uptake of superior LED-based systems in greenhouse horticulture. Breakthrough energy-efficient LED systems, new crop varieties, plant modelling and knowledge transfer are combined and will result in a new generation of LED-based growing systems. This generates new business for the horticulture related industries, new or existing SME’s in the areas of implementation of LED systems, consultancy and advice to growers.