Semi-transparent solar cells may be lining your greenhouses in the future…we think. If a house can handle solar energy, why can’t a greenhouse, right?
This particular group of solar cells can generate perfect electricity, without affecting how plants grow. According to research, this suggests that we, as a society, can build “energy-neutral greenhouses without harming crops.”
Science Alert states, “Researchers tested groups of red leaf lettuce under different types of glass and different wavelengths of light, keeping all other variables the same – including temperature, CO2 concentration, and supplies of water and fertilizer.” And according to the Bonnie Plants company, lettuce requires full sun to part shade in order to grow and prosper. So, the semi-transparent solar cells we’re talking about must really pack a punch.
Science Alert does go on to say that lettuce that was grown under the solar cells did not show any significant difference in key measurement, which included the following metrics: absorption in CO2, plant size and antioxidants.
And word on the street is that farmers, even those who have a deep-rooted interest in growing food at home, would love to participate in spreading the word of the power of the future. Brendan O’Connor, of North Carolina State University, states, "I think that interest is only going to grow. We've seen enough proof-of-concept prototypes to know this technology is feasible in principle, we just need to see a company take the leap and begin producing to scale."
Which company will take such a leap? Any takers out there?