Dutch Company Utilizes Plants To Power Streetlights, Wi-Fi, And Cell Phones

Over the past year, there has been a sudden boom from green technology companies to innovate ways to power cities never before thought of.

The Inquisitr reported on such daring projects in which the latest is about a prototype “wind tree,” a design that can harvest electricity from sloe-speed winds. In an earlier report on green power, a scientist found a way to create glow-in-the-dark plants, a beautiful alternative to bringing light to a city at night.

Now, there are reports of a new green method to provide power for people, which if utilized correctly, can replace present-day energy companies. This was discovered by a Dutch company that found a way to harvest electricity coming from the most unlikely of sources: plants.

According to Yes Magazine and followed-up by Inhabitat, the Dutch company known as Plant-e initially introduced their new energy project, known as “Starry Sky,” at a demonstration in Hembrug, Netherlands. In it, they were able to power 300 LED lights, a truly marvelous show for anyone in attendance. The unique part of this project is that the harvested electricity didn’t come from conventional or even traditional green energy sources — it was harvested from living plants.

Marjolein Helder, the co-founder and CEO of Plant-e, believes that the aforementioned method of harvesting electricity can be revolutionary. Using plants to generate clean energy provides an option on the table that has little to no impact on the environment, and may save consumers up to millions as a whole if implemented correctly into society. Yet, Helder understands to achieve such big dreams, one must take initial steps. For Plant-e, that is done not only through providing light, but by selling Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile chargers, and rooftop electricity modules, all fueled by living plants.

Apparently, the idea for using plants and photosynthesis to extract energy is an old one. Until now, such endeavors have been delegated to middle school projects, mostly in the form of clocks being powered by potatoes. Jim McGowan provided a graphic that gives a general summary of how this is done.

Powering by Plants

Though such an endeavor is novel, at this moment, it isn’t reliable as a commercial product. Ramaraja Ramasamy, an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia College of Engineering, explains that Plant-e utilizes sediment microbial fuel cells, a method that isn’t advanced enough to compete with more established green technology like solar panels and wind turbines. Also, it is fairly new, thus the research is quite limited.

In conclusion, Plant-e’s way of providing power through plants is interesting but not practical to use, especially in the United States and Japan, countries that use a monumental amount of electricity. Presently, Plant-e and other green technology companies like them are researching if it is possible to get around this situation.

Now that you’ve read the news on how a Dutch company is providing electricity through plants, what are your views? Do you think that such a way of providing power will eventually see the light of day in the United States or any other country that consumes a lot of electricity?

[Featured Image via Shutterstock, Post Image via Jim McGowan/Yes Magazine]