Quiet revolution in Dutch greenhouses

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

The Dutch, like many other Western consumers, have become accustomed to eating tomatoes, paprikas and cucumbers all year round. They also want to be able to buy a nice bunch of flowers in the middle of the winter.

That's only possible because of the many huge greenhouses in the Netherlands. They're cooled in the summer and heated in the winter, and they're becoming prohibitively expensive.

The Netherlands' gas supplies are running out and becoming more costly, so market gardeners are looking for alternatives. Their goal? By 2020, they want to make their greenhouses energy neutral.