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GreenGrowing: smart energy management

Sustainable production of food and ornamental crops in Dutch greenhouses is a now a key concern. The heart of the issue is greenhouse energy consumption and its reduction. With this project, TNO focuses on the development of an intelligent energy management tool in which the growth of the products, the climate parameters in the greenhouse and the flexible use of energy are utilized to attain cost-effective energy market prices (for the grower).

Sustainable production/cultivation of food and ornamental crops in Dutch greenhouses is an issue that is currently high on the agenda. The objectives are a reduced ecological footprint and maintaining/strengthening the competitiveness of the Dutch market gardening industry. Energy is an important factor in the equation. New energy-saving methods and techniques will have to be developed, as well as smarter and more cost-effective ways to deal with energy in combination with the cost of product growth and crop yields.

TNO's objective for this project is to arrive at good IT support for the provision of information to the grower/energy manager that enables them to increase the energy efficiency of the growing operation. This will be based on utilization of the flexibility in the growth/production curves for strategic energy trading on the energy markets.

GreenGrowing app

The GreenGrowing tool provides the Dutch grower/energy manager with a single, central location (the app) on a tablet PC where they can find all the information they need for trading (buying/selling) energy and achieving economically viable growth of their products. TNO focuses on a variety of mechanisms that provide flexibility in the climate parameters, yet which do not come at the expense of the growth or production of the plants in the greenhouse (the crop), such as flexible lighting and temperature integration. This flexibility is used by the intelligent energy management tool for energy market trading in a smart, flexible, profitable manner. To that end, data from the necessary sources are brought together in the app and presented clearly.


In the initial stages of this study, TNO is focusing on a number of functionalities and/or data sources. In the app, TNO uses the 'greenhouse,' 'energy,' and 'weather' as primary data sources. The initial functionality involves organizing/presenting the appropriate data effectively.

  • TNO's 'greenhouse' data includes the temperature in the greenhouse, the relative humidity (RH), the amount of light and the amount of CO2 present. These parameters are examined for moments in the past, present and future (the coming days).
  • 'Energy' includes the current real-time energy prices on the day-ahead, intraday, and balancing energy markets.
  • 'Weather' includes the weather situation at a given moment and the forecast for the coming period (days/weeks).

Dr. Jack Verhoosel

  • Interoperability
  • semantics
  • standardisation
  • architecture
  • linked data


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