Horticulture: Heating

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 4 October 2022.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to help support glasshouse growers to heat their greenhouses in the context of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

HM Government Food Strategy published in June this year acknowledges the important role of industrial horticulture, including the contribution of glasshouse crop production in ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply of fresh produce throughout the year. Growth of this sector would boost home-grown fruit and vegetable production, help future-proof the sector in a warming climate and create new skilled job opportunities.

HM Government Food Strategy explains that industrial horticulture will be considered alongside other manufacturing sectors in decisions on industrial energy policy and that we will also incentivise the sector to make use of surplus heat and CO2 from industrial processes, and renewable sources of energy. HM Government is developing a Horticulture Strategy for England which will explore how controlled environment horticulture can be supported.

In recognition of significant increases in energy costs, we have recently announced that businesses, charities and public sector organisations will be protected through HM Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme from October over the next six months. This support discounts price per unit of gas and electricity, meaning businesses and others will pay wholesale energy costs well below half of expected prices this winter.

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