Switzerland: Renewable energies for greenhouse heating

In order to use the energy used for heating as sustainably as possible, regulations regarding the insulation of the building envelope as well as the maximum heating temperatures have been in place for greenhouses for some time. The goal is to phase out fossil fuels.

From 2040, all greenhouses are to be heated 100 percent with renewable energies. Renewable energy sources include wind and hydropower, solar energy, biomass such as wood, and environmental heat such as geothermal energy.

The changeover will take place in two partial steps, which means:

From 2030, eighty percent of the energy used for heating (including dry heating) must come from renewable sources. Greenhouses that are only heated to a maximum of five degrees Celsius to keep them frost-free are exempt from this requirement.

From 2040, one hundred percent of the heating energy used for the base and peak loads as well as for frost-free maintenance, dry heating and CO2 fertilization must be covered by renewable energy sources.

Stricter regulations will also apply to the use of waste heat and nuclear power for heating from Jan. 1, 2040. In addition, an average U-value of 2.1 W/m2K will now apply to the thermal insulation of newly built greenhouses.

Under the leadership of the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP), the industry has also taken an in-depth look at the issue and adopted an industry strategy by 2020 that aims to phase out fossil fuels by the end of 2040.