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Thermochemical Fluids in Greenhouse Farming

EU greenhouse market

The first analysis of the European greenhouse market results from TheGreefa’s market evaluation activities. The main objectives of the study were to analyse the greenhouse farming situation in Europe concerning decarbonisation technologies and to assess in detail the market for TheGreefa Project, explore potential users and applications, and compare the technology to the ones provided by the actual competitors.

Amid challenges such as trade disruptions, food inflation, energy crisis and the impact of climate change, EU agricultural sectors are witnessing a slowdown. However, the indoor farming industry, specifically the European commercial greenhouse market, shows promising growth. The market was valued at approximately €5.87 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach €9.6 billion by 2023, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.3%.

Estimated greenhouse vegetable production area and vertical farming concentrations (Rabobank, World Vegetable Map, 2018)

The Central European Union has significant greenhouse acreage, with a focus on vegetables and ornamental plants. Due to the cold climate, heating costs represent a significant expense, and most greenhouses need modernization and energy-efficient technologies. Current heating methods are mainly fossil-fuel-based, making energy costs a significant factor in profitability. However, despite the colder average temperatures, these greenhouses still require cooling during certain periods of the year, further exacerbating water supply issues. Therefore, there is a need for affordable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly technology that reduces energy costs and carbon emissions, while being compatible with renewable energy sources.

Southern Europe, particularly the Mediterranean basin, represents a promising market for TheGreefa, a technology solution that helps control greenhouse climate and recover water. This region, with its low-tech structures, lack of equipment, and water shortages, can benefit from this technology, particularly its water recovery, humidity removal, and integrated software management features.

To stay competitive, growers must invest in new capacities and equipment to produce quality crops year-round at reasonable prices. Introducing TheGreefa technology could help meet these goals, making it a potential game-changer for the greenhouse industry in Europe.

TheGreefa as a microclimate management system, presents a substantial opportunity within this context. There is significant demand for greenhouse solutions and technologies, and the estimated market value for climate control solutions in European greenhouses is projected between 350 and 1,729 M€/year.

Spain, having the largest greenhouse farming industry in Europe, and Italy, with a robust greenhouse industry, are identified as potential initial markets for TheGreefa. France as well could be an interesting theoretical market due to its greenhouse surface. These insights are based on factors such as market size, greenhouse infrastructure, climate, competition, ease of doing business, and local regulations.

Author: Raphaël Hercelin, STRANE INNOVATION