Solar Greenhouses generate Electricity and Grow Crops at the same time, UC Santa Cruz study reveals
The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, signaling that "smart" greenhouses hold great promise for dual-use farming and renewable electricity production.
"We have demonstrated that 'smart greenhouses' can capture solar energy for electricity without reducing plant growth, which is pretty exciting," said Michael Loik, professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lead author on a paper that appears in the current issue of the American Geophysical Union's journal Earth's Future.
Photo: Plants grown in this "smart" greenhouse fared as well or better than plants grown in conventional greenhouses. (Photo by Nick Gonzales)