Use gas CHP use results in lower in cost price advantage

Persbericht

Decreased cost price benefits of CHP use in greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands

Gepubliceerd op
18 oktober 2016

The new edition of ‘Quantitative Information [KWIN] for the Greenhouse Horticulture Sector’ shows that the use of combined heat and power (CHP) has very little influence on cost, although the carbon footprint linked to the use of cogeneration for heating does remain better. For a number of crops, the average realised sale price is below the economic cost price, despite lower energy outlays. The scale of the companies continues to increase, while the acreage of the main crops in the Netherlands is shrinking again.

The 25th edition of ‘Quantitative Information [KWIN] for the Greenhouse Horticulture Sector’ has been published in Dutch by Wageningen University & Research, Greenhouse Horticulture. It contains data on the changes in the areas under cultivation for different crops, indicative prices for equipment and a calculation of revenue, expense and operating profit for the main crops, all for greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands.

Operating profit is now calculated on the basis of the average economic cost price. This cost price is currently at a level which allows costs to be covered but does not permit a profit to be made. To ensure a healthy operation, the sale price should be higher. This average cost price calculation gives gardeners a helpful tool to aid them in the sale of their products.

The average economic cost price is calculated based on the cost of production and the share of the fixed costs. These costs are allocated to production in the relevant production period. For vegetables and cut flowers, this cost price is charged for each production period of four weeks or to the different crops. For potted plants, the calculation refers to the production of 1000 plants.

Due to the increasing attention being paid to the environmental impact of crops, the carbon footprint is calculated for each type of cultivation and divided over the different factors of production.

The compilation of this periodic KWIN reference book led to the following findings.

In the Dutch industry:

  • The increase in company acreage is continuing. Sixty-nine per cent of the greenhouse area in the Netherlands consists of companies with more than three hectares and 53% have more than five hectares. The number of companies has decreased by more than 70% since 2000, and 21% of the greenhouse companies (880 in all) today own 69% of the greenhouse area.
  • The vegetable crops area has also fallen since 2012. The area under tomato cultivation grew by 55% from 2000 to 2015. The cultivation of grape and cherry tomatoes doubled in that period at the expense of beefsteak and round tomatoes. Until 2010 the area planted with sweet peppers grew by 22% compared to 2000, and since 2010 the area has decreased by 17%. The share of red sweet peppers has risen at the expense of green.
  • The area under cut flower cultivation has fallen by 50% since 2000. Roses and chrysanthemum experienced a particular decline, by 70% and 50% respectively.
  • The area under flowering pot plant cultivation has grown rapidly by 40% since 2000, and has stabilised in recent years.

From a global economic perspective:

  • Differences in cultivation methods result in different cost prices and carbon footprints.
  • Several crops have an average cost price that is higher than the realised sale price.
  • The reduction in cost price made possible by the use of CHP has become less important thanks to the decreasing price of electricity supplied to the national electricity grid. The use of CHP still leads to a better carbon footprint, however.