Carbon tax will disrupt Danish energy plan

Energy hasn’t traditionally been a major challenge in the Danish floriculture sector. Most floriculturists can count on a reliable energy supply and they don’t need to pay exorbitantly high prices for heating and electricity compared to other countries. However, the introduction of a new carbon tax is a concern for many entrepreneurs.  

The Danish floriculture industry consists of around 150 companies, mainly growers of pot and bedding plants. Most of these nurseries are located on the island of Funen, in the centre of Denmark. Not a coincidence, explains Torben Lippert of Dansk Gartneri, the association for the Danish horticultural industry.

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“It has everything to do with the availability of a power and incineration plant outside the city of Odense. Heat from the plant is transported to Odense and several nurseries via a central heating system. It heats around 2 million m2 of greenhouses in total, almost half of the entire Danish greenhouse horticulture acreage. The advantage of this heating system is that growers pay a reasonable and stable price for their heating. On average, energy accounts for 9.5 percent of the costs of Danish floriculture companies.”

Several heat sources

There are more places in Denmark where floriculture companies are heated with the heat that’s generated in power stations or incineration plants. “Most of the remaining nurseries use gas, extracted from the North Sea as well as biogas derived from fermentation and composting. The share of biogas, which is produced by independent companies, is steadily increasing. By 2030, the Danish horticultural industry will probably use 60% biogas and only 40% natural gas. The average Danish floriculture company currently pays 27 euro cents per cubic metre of gas.”

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