An economic and environmental analysis of greenhouse tomato production in Norway using a model-based technique
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Original versionAn economic and environmental analysis of greenhouse tomato production in Norway using a model-based technique by Muhammad Naseer, Stavanger : University of Stavanger, 2022 (PhD thesis UiS, no. 677)
The growing global population levels and the resulting increasing demands for food has put a lot of pressure on the food production systems and made the agricultural sector highly energy-intensive. The intensification in global food production has led to the need to adapt production systems according to the local climatic conditions, making food production possible in areas where it was di cult before and also making the production process environmentally sustainable. One way to adapt food production systems is through protected cultivation techniques, such as greenhouses, that enable controlled indoor climate, crop protection from extreme climate conditions, pests and diseases and the possibility to extend production seasons for certain crops. Yet these techniques a ect the investments, economic performance, used resources and have certain environmental consequences. Norway, for instance, is one such region in which one of the biggest challenges associated with protected cultivation systems is the issue of low availability of natural light and heat, especially during the cold winter months. Production in such regions requires high levels of energy, yet some of these regions also have significant availability of renewable energy resources. The challenge of low light and heat can be overcome by bringing about changes in the production techniques, including greenhouse design elements, production seasons and energy sources. However, this also in turn raises the issue of environmental impact of greenhouse vegetable production in high latitude regions and especially from the use of renewable energy that is present in significant amounts in many regions with considerable greenhouse vegetable production. While there exist several studies on the di erent aspects of greenhouse vegetable production in various regions, and their resulting environmental effects, works related to the use of renewable energy sources, especially in high latitude regions such as Norway are limited. Moreover, studies regarding the environmental impact of greenhouse production of vegetables often show that there is a trade-off between the economic performance and the environmental impact. Local climate and light variability call for regionally adapted greenhouse production techniques. Moreover, the impact of a certain greenhouse design on the economic performance may not always be correlated to the environmental impact. Thus, there is a need to evaluate the impact of various production strategies on the economic potential, resource use and the environment in instances where the traditional fossil fuel is supplemented and/or replaced by energy from renewable resources. In the present work, an attempt has been made to provide a broad picture of greenhouse tomato production at high latitude regions as a result of adapting production strategies in line with the local climates in Norway, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy sources in order to evaluate the environmental impact of locally produced tomatoes that are also economically profitable. The study has been divided into three stages. In the first part, an economic evaluation of seasonal (mid-March to mid-October) greenhouse tomato production in southestern, southwestern, central and northern Norway was performed. In the second part, an economic evaluation and energy use of extended season (from 20th January to 20th November) and year-round production of greenhouse tomatoes in the selected locations in Norway was performed. Sets of plausible design elements, greenhouse climate management, different artificial lighting strategies were assessed to evaluate the impact of the greenhouse design on the Net Financial Return (NFR), energy use and CO2 emissions of the production process. In the third part, a life cycle impact assessment was conducted for a selected number of designs from the first two stages that yielded high NFR or was associated with low energy use in order to assess whether the designs that performed well economically are also environmentally sustainable. The study found clear region-dependent differences in the NFR, its underlying elements, energy use and the resulting environmental impact of different greenhouse designs with differing energy-saving and internal climate control equipment. Our results show that economic profitability can be combined with a low environmental impact under certain regions and production techniques. It was found that Kise (southeastern) was the most favorable location for seasonal greenhouse tomato production in Norway, while Orre (southwestern) was the most favorable location in terms of the economic performance and environmental impact during the extended and year-round production seasons. Moreover, our results show that night energy screens, electric heat pumps and light sources had the most impacts of the elements that were investigated on the NFR and the resulting environmental impact across the three production seasons and need to be considered while constructing greenhouses for tomato production in regions having similar climate as that of Norway. The results of this study provide interesting insights on works related to the greenhouse vegetable production and energy resources in high latitude regions with considerable supplies of renewable energy. The findings can enable local producers across Norway to design greenhouses keeping in mind the local climate, the economic profitability and the environmental sustainability and can help policymakers in devising policies that encourage local growers to adapt production strategies aimed at increasing local production that is both economically profitable and environmentally sustainable.
Has partsPaper 1: Naseer, M., Persson, T., Righini, I., Stanghellini, C., Maessen, H., & Verheul, M. J. (2021). Bio-economic evaluation of greenhouse designs for seasonal tomato production in Norway. Biosystems Engineering, 212, 413-430.
Paper 2: Naseer, M., Persson, T., Righini, I., Stanghellini, C., Maessen, H., Ruo , P., & Verheul, M. J. (2022). Bioeconomic evaluation of extended season and year-round tomato production in Norway using supplemental light. Agricultural Systems, 198, 103391.
Paper 3: Naseer, M., Persson, T., Hjelkrem, A. G. R., Ruo , P., & Verheul, M. J. (2022). Life cycle assessment of tomato production for di erent pro- duction strategies in Norway. Journal of Cleaner Production, 133659.
PublisherUniversity of Stavanger, Norway
SeriesPhD thesis UiS;