Energy Saving in Greenhouse Horticulture as a response to changing societal demands

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    In response to societal demands, the Dutch government implemented policy measures to reduce the use of fossil energy in greenhouse horticulture. A survey study was conducted to analyse behavioural aspects of horticultural growers to see 1) if they know about the policy measures and know what they mean for their own firm; 2) if they are willing to behave accordingly, and 3) whether we can explain different behavioural responses to the policy measures. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on 95 specialised greenhouse firms and the interview data was combined with existing firm records on technical and economic results, energy-saving investments and energy use. A cluster analysis was executed to reveal differences between growers with respect to the policy measures. Five clusters were identified that could be distinguished by the gap between their current energy use and the required energy-use level as determined by the policy measures. Perception, attitude and behaviour with respect to energy saving varied considerably among the different clusters. Limited knowledge of policy measures appeared to be no explanatory factor: firms that have to make large adjustments to comply with policy measures were quite well aware of the policy measures. Either a `wait-and-see¿ strategy or a strict focus on consumer demands has kept them from changing their energy-related behaviour so far. Fine tuning policy measures taking into account the different perceptions and attitudes per cluster offers possibilities to effectively change growers¿ behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-274
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Issue number655
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • Attitude
    • Behaviour
    • Cluster analysis
    • Energy management
    • Energy use
    • Energy-saving technology
    • Perception


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