Climate change in the planet is currently creating many environmental,
economic and social problems which are probably going to multiply in the
near future. Reduction of greenhouse gases emitted from fossil fuels
could result in the mitigation of greenhouse effect and the climate
change. Agricultural greenhouses consume large amounts of energy mainly
derived from fossil fuels, for the cultivation of various crops.
Reduction of their carbon footprint is of primary importance to day. In
order to investigate the possibilities of reducing their carbon
footprint, the energy consumption during their operation has been
estimated and the sustainable energy technologies which could be used
for substitution of fossil fuels used have been analyzed. It has been
found that a modern greenhouse located in Mediterranean region with a
covered area of 1,000 m2 and a total annual energy consumption of 200
KWh/m2 emits 76,900 kg CO2 per year. Total elimination of their CO2
emissions could be achieved with the investment of 44,000 € in renewable
energy technologies, including solid biomass for heating and solar-PV
for power generation and resulting in lower energy cost during their
operation. The payback time of the abovementioned investments has been
estimated at 4.84 years.
The study contributes in the existing literature regarding the
improvement of the sustainability in agricultural greenhouses. It
indicates the possibility of using various renewable energy sources
instead of fossil fuels for covering their energy requirements resulting
in zeroing their CO2 emissions due to energy use in them.
Agricultural greenhouses, Carbon footprint, CO2 emissions, Energy consumption, Energy saving, Renewable energy.
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This study received no specific financial support.
The author declares that there are no conflicts of interests regarding the publication of this paper.