Koppert Cress uses new hot water storage that lowers CO2 emissions
South Holland (Zuid-Holland) will start a partnership with Koppert Cress to investigate the effects of storing hot water in subsoil. It is predicted that storing water in subsoil can reduce CO2 output by up to 50%. The goal is to create a climate-resistance province by reducing CO2 levels through decreasing fossil fuel combustion.
Working with South Holland will continue a two-year pilot started in 2015 at Koppert Cress and help complete, within the next three years, the full-fledged investigation. With the assistance of the Ministry of Economic affairs, the project is aimed at furthering investments into rural initiatives for a new impetus for Greenports. South Holland is an active contributor to the process of restructuring and development of horticulture within Greenport West/Oost-Land, The Netherlands.
Previously, the South Holland government did not permit the infiltration of water that is warmer than 30 degrees as it can have negative effects on the environment. Infiltration is a process in which water enters the soil. By this concept, the more saturated the soil is, the slower the rate of infiltration is. However, the pilot, started by Koppert Cress, has shown that heated infiltration could be the key to lowering CO2 emissions produced by greenhouses. Through a study financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in 2015, the pilot study commenced and has been closely monitored by the cress growers since. Throughout its lifetime, the study picked up several companies willing to contribute to the research in addition to the provincial government. The companies currently involved in the research nowadays are Koppert Cress, Bart van Meurs Project Development, Vyverberg Advies B.V., Brabant Water and KWR Watercycle Research.
The research involves monitoring the effects of storing heat and measuring the changing levels of CO2. KWR Watercycle Research will coordinate, monitor and provide reports to the involved parties, which helps justify their request to the Ministry for addition subsidies. So far, €50,000 has been promised towards the project.
The results are expected to surface around the beginning of 2020 however, preliminary investigations show that there could be a potential 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, because of the reduction in fossil fuel combustion, without the storage of high temperature water. Additionally, the research project follows the soil infiltration process at a minimum depth of 40 meters, in subsoil as heat is not expected to penetrate soil less than 25m below the ground. Naturally, the water’s micro-biological and chemical behavior is studied.
As there has only been a preliminary investigation, all data is subject to change based on temperature increases but changes to the ground water are expected to be low.
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