Glasshouse Horticulture Track in the trade mission to South Korea March 2023

Is your company active in energy transition themes as battery technology, electric mobility, hydrogen, offshore wind or greenhouse horticulture? And do you want to do business with and make contacts in South Korea and Japan? Then take part in the upcoming trade mission with Minister Liesje Schreinemacher to South Korea and Japan from 13th to 17th March 2023. For greenhouse horticulture business, we hereby provide more information.

Woodeumgee Farm
Beeld: ©Woodeumgee Farm / Woodeumgee Farm
Glasshouse in South Korea

Introduction of South Korean glasshouse horticulture

Korea has around 56,000 greenhouse areas, most of which are low- or mid-tech plastic greenhouses. The Korean government has tried to develop greenhouses into hi-tech Dutch-style glasshouses through different subsidy programs since the 1990s. Korea has around 400 ha glasshouse areas, and the area is growing. Thanks to these efforts, Korea is now the largest exporter of paprika to Japan, accounting for 61% of the Japanese market.

The challenge is that Korean farmers are small and can’t afford to pay for hi-tech glasshouses. Therefore, most horticulture projects rely on central or regional government subsidies. Investments from other sectors, such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, are limited due to opposition from farmers and politicians who want to protect agriculture from conglomerates.

Recently, new opportunities have been coming up in the Korean horticulture sector. Korean government’s continuous efforts to promote smart farming (Koreans call hi-tech horticulture smart farming) raised awareness of glasshouse horticulture in the society. Unlike in past years, the private sector has started glasshouse projects without governmental subsidies. It became possible because of investments by the bank and private investors. Provincial or municipal governments are also actively supporting those projects because they are seen as one of the best solutions to attract young farmers to their country regions.

Most of those projects are more or less related to Energy transition. Due to soaring energy prices, project leaders should consider alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, ATES(Aquifer thermal energy storage), waste heat from different sources, geothermal energy and aquathermal energy.

On-going energy transition projects for glasshouse horticulture in South Korea

Hydrogen fuel cell power plant + large-scale greenhouse

  • Gas is transformed to hydrogen to be used for the hydrogen fuel cell.  CO2 and heat generated during this transformation can be used by greenhouse. Hyundai and SK are active in this business.

Green hydrogen + greenhouse

  • An idea to provide both O2 and Hydrogen to plants in greenhouse; O2 helps plants’ growth, and hydrogen is captured in the roof of greenhouse to be used for heating.

Thermal power plant + large-scale greenhouse

  • Waste heat from thermal power plants can be used by greenhouse: under discussion for a project.

Steel industry + greenhouse

  • Waste heat from steel industry can be used by greenhouse: a pilot greenhouse under construction.

ATES for greenhouse

  • Korea is not suitable for ATES (Aquifer thermal energy storage) due to its geological feature (granite).  However, there are a lot of reclaimed farmlands where ATES is applicable. Korea’s extreme weather gives an advantage to ATES. Under discussion for a dem-farm project.

Efficient heat pump for greenhouse

  • Many Korean glasshouses use electricity for heating.  It is critical to install efficient heat pump in glasshouses.  Not only Samsung/LG but also Korean SMEs developed  different heat pumps for agriculture. A glasshouse is under construction using a state-of-the-art heat pump developed by Korea.

More information for the trade mission

Please visit the following RVO site (in Dutch) for registration and further information.
If you have specific questions regarding the greenhouse horticulture track in South Korea, please contact the LAN team @