Project type: Biogas, Biomass, Solar
Project location: Switzerland
Project status: In operation, exclusive
Annual CO₂ reduction: 10’000 t
The goal of this my M climate protection programme is switching over to a renewable source of heating for climate-friendly fruit and vegetable production in greenhouse operations, which supply Migros. The potential for the reduction of CO₂ emissions by forgoing the use of fossil fuels in greenhouses is enormous.
In Switzerland, a large proportion of fruit and vegetables produced for consumption is done so domestically. Popular crops such as tomatoes or cucumbers are often grown in specialised, highly professional greenhouse operations. Alongside protection from the elements, a big advantage of heated greenhouses over open air cultivation is a greater consistency in crop growth over an extended period. From an economic perspective, heating using fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane, or heating oil is still the cheapest method. However, this produces a large quantity of climate damaging CO₂. Subsidies from the my M climate fund should thus create a financial incentive to switch over to renewable heating systems.
Climate change is a reality. Migros has therefore set ambitious goals for the reduction of CO₂ in its own operations. They are now going a step further and, with their suppliers, would like to significantly reduce CO₂ emissions from the Swiss production of fruit and vegetables.
In conventional greenhouse cultivation, the fruits and vegetables are normally supplied with underfloor heating and/or vegetation heating in the immediate vicinity of the plants. Besides technical and economic feasibility, various renewable technologies are worth consideration from an ecological perspective. Local and district heating networks could effectively utilise the unused waste heat that is produced in industrial processes or by incinerators, for example. Geothermal and heat pump technology use environmental heat as a source of energy. Wood combustion, such as wood chip or pellet heating enable an automated and continuous production of warmth derived from biomass. And last but not least, solar energy and domestically produced biogas are also well-suited to heating the greenhouses.
The climate protection programme encourages Migros' fruit and vegetable suppliers to change from fossil fuel heating to renewables for greenhouses. Each year, the most eligible of the conversion projects submitted, in accordance with sustainability criteria, are selected for support. The amount of the subsidy will be individually determined, and the supplier compensated for the value of their climate reduction rights. The model anticipates a one-off investment amount, in addition to annual offsetting from the business.