Dutch horticulture has exceeded its 2021 CO2 emission target. Therefore, growers have to start paying a levy according to the CO2 sector system. They received a letter about this on 15 November from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The total levy for the sector comes to €6.3 million.
The total CO2 emissions of the greenhouse horticulture sector were 6.2 Mton in 2021. RVO determined this on the basis of data provided by greenhouse growers via the Combined Declaration. The 6.2 Mton CO2 exceeds the agreed emission cap (5.9 Mton CO2) by 0.3 Mton. This difference is called the CO2 emissions balance.
Sector organization Glastuinbouw Nederland explains the ceiling overrun by pointing mainly to natural gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants that produced more electricity than in previous years. Due to a price difference between electricity and gas, there was a high demand from the electricity grid. On the other hand, the overrun was less than expected because the sector used more renewable energy and heat and consumed less energy per square meter.
When calculating the final 2021 CO2 emissions balance, RVO deducted the favorable emissions balances from the years 2018, 2019, and 2020. This brings the final emissions balance to 0.26 Mton. Multiplied by the emission price of €24.47 per tonne of CO2, the total levy for the sector comes to €6.3 million.
Levy deployed for energy transition
RVO divides this amount proportionally among greenhouse horticulture companies. Companies with low CO2 emissions pay less than companies with high emissions. In consultation with Glastuinbouw Nederland, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) is looking at how the €6.3 million will be used to stimulate energy transition in horticulture.
The greenhouse horticulture sector has made agreements with the central government to reduce the sector’s CO2 emissions. With the CO2 scheme and subsidies for sustainability and innovation, the sector and the government are working together to achieve the climate goals. And move towards a future-proof sector. The CO2 scheme is also in return for a lower energy tax for horticulture.
CO2 emission ceiling 2022
The Covenant on CO2 Emissions within the CO2 sector system horticulture for the period 2021-2024 agreed on a linear reduction of CO2 emissions from 6.0 to 5.4 Mtonnes, with a ceiling of 5.8 Mtonnes for 2022. Although the formal CO2 registration for 2022 by RVO is still ongoing, it is very likely that this ceiling will not be exceeded in 2022, says Glastuinbouw Nederland in a report on the Energy Monitor 2022. Nothing can yet be said about the years after that.
“The still high energy prices and the interest in the various subsidy schemes and courses around savings and fossil-free cultivation support a further dampening effect on energy use. To what extent the extensification measures will continue is not yet clear and partly depends on market developments for the products.”