Save energy with winter vegetables

January 06, 2023

There are many good reasons why we should also eat winter vegetables in winter. Here are some of them:

1. Winter vegetables are typically rich in vitamins and minerals that are important for a balanced diet.
2. Winter vegetables tend to be fresh and seasonal, which means they take less time to ship.
3. Winter vegetables can help add variety to the diet and offer new flavors.
4. Winter vegetables can help you eat healthier, especially in the cold season, and thus reduce the risk of colds and other illnesses.

For the producer, however, there is another very important point at the moment when producing this type of vegetable and that is the less energy that is required for it.
A few numbers:
Depending on the region, the sun supplies us with around 1100-1400 kWh/m2 in Austria. If we divide the year, this energy is about 3 times as high in the months April-September compared to October to March.
But when it comes to heating, the most important factor is the temperature difference between outside and inside, especially when the sun is definitely not shining, namely at night. Then there is unfortunately no greenhouse effect and since the days are shorter in winter, the calculation is primarily based on this difference.

This is not intended to be a scientific treatise, but only to give an order of magnitude, because of course greenhouse technology has become more advanced in recent decades and the saving of energy through multiple glazing, air cushions in the films, newer screen fabric and much more have of course brought savings and are therefore yes also been promoted. But no matter how the balance sheet looks at the moment, you have to look at the following ratio:

Average temperatures Vienna [°C]
January: 0
February: 1
March: 6
Apr: 10

Difference [K] at heating temperature of 19°C
January: 19
February: 18
March: 13
Apr: 9

Of course only the approximate figures of an assumed example. They don't even take into account the lengthening days, but show an order of magnitude of energy consumption (more than twice as much in January than in April) and why winter vegetables are more ecological and economical from this point of view.

So it's definitely worth doing some strategic thinking about it.
If you would like more detailed evaluations of how such decisions could be relevant to your facility or would like support in implementing a culture change, then contact us. We are happy to help!

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