Using waste to make greenhouse horticulture sustainable? How do you do that?

The greenhouse horticulture sector will be able to count on extra liquid CO2 from the end of 2023. This sustainable alternative to natural gas will be supplied by our CO2 capture plant, currently under construction in Hengelo. The plant will reduce CO2 emissions associated with the production of energy from residual waste. The captured CO2 will be used in liquid form in greenhouse horticulture.


Twence mainly generates energy from non-reusable residual and industrial waste and is the largest producer of sustainable energy in the province of Overijssel. Annually, we produce approx. 530 GWh of heat and 500 GWh of electricity. This is enough to supply 30,000 households with heat and 135,800 with electricity for a whole year. What used to be regarded as waste is now a source of energy. Twence will soon capture the CO2 that is released when electricity is generated. This will make our renewable energy even more sustainable.

Why is CO2 needed for greenhouse horticulture?
The captured CO2 is converted into liquid CO2 to help plants grow better in greenhouses, for example. How does this work? “CO2 is essential for the growth of crops. Today, this comes mainly from natural gas. If we want to get rid of natural gas, liquid CO2 provided by Twence serves as a great alternative. One tonne of externally supplied CO2 will effectively result in approx. 0.95 tonnes of CO2 less being emitted by Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHPs) and gas boilers. Twence can therefore provide an important contribution to making greenhouse horticulture more sustainable,” according to Dennis Medema, Theme Specialist of Glastuinbouw Nederland.

CO2 emissions in greenhouse horticulture must be reduced. But by how much?
A climate-neutral greenhouse horticultural sector by 2040. That is the ambitious target set by governments and sector associations in the 2019 Climate Accord. Henk Staghouwer (LNV) proposes a maximum emission threshold of 4.3 to 4.8 Mt in CO₂ equivalents as a provisional intermediate step for 2030. In 2021, national emissions from greenhouse horticulture were 6.5 Mt in CO₂ equivalents. In other words, a nationwide reduction of 26% to 34% by 2030 compared to 2021 is therefore needed.

First delivery at the end of 2023
In the first quarter of 2022, Twence will start construction of the plant, which will capture and reuse no less than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The first liquid CO2 is expected to leave for the greenhouses by the end of this year. In this way, our waste is reused to grow plants and thus close cycles. A great contribution to the circular economy.

Together: Twence and the greenhouse horticultural sector
Our ambition is to make the region sustainable together. We believe that we can only make a difference if we work together; Twence and the greenhouse horticultural sector. Our waste serves as the basis for making greenhouse horticulture sustainable. And with this, we close cycles. A fantastic circular approach! By reducing our CO2 emissions, we are also making a substantial contribution to the regional sustainability goals of Twence and our shareholders.

Twence. Together towards a sustainable region.