If you think it is crazy, then we tell you that it is an idea that is already generating results in the Netherlands.
We depend on electricity. The world we live in, in fact, increases exponentially in its energy need with each passing year. But our old energy sources are lagging behind. You have to think of new, original concepts, capable of opening other doors.
That is what they do at Plant-e, who have developed a completely green system of obtaining electricity. In addition, along the way, we will be able to find a solution to those areas of difficult access where energy does not arrive so easily.
What is special about the system engineered by Plant-e?
The Plant-e company, located in Wageningen (east of Holland), is developing a technology that allows to produce electricity from plants, always these grow in a medium saturated with water, such as in a mangrove, a rice field, a swamp or simply in a garden.
The advantage of this system in relation to wind or solar - he explains - is that it works even at night and when there is no wind.
It is in its infancy and there is still a lot to improve, but its potential is enormous. If this system ends up being efficient, it is possible to imagine the electricity supply to remote areas and even install it in our cities and rural areas to produce green energy.
How does this system work?
The technology is based on photosynthesis, with which the plant produces organic matter. The unused surplus is released into the soil through the roots, around which microorganisms live that feed on it and release electrons.
By placing carbon electrodes near the roots, these electrons are "harvested" and current can be generated.
For now, several working prototypes already exist, including a facility in the Netherlands located under a bridge. Although the system still needs to be improved to obtain greater efficiency.
With the current model, a device of about 100 square meters is only capable of obtaining energy to illuminate an installation of LEDs, create a mobile recharging point or power a wireless internet point. However, its creators are convinced that in a few years, the same device will be capable of producing around 2,800 kWh, a modest figure but enough to support a small family.
Plant-e currently sells its technology primarily for public places or building roofs. The approximate cost for an area of 100 square meters is 62,000 dollars.
But the flagship product is not ready yet. It is a tube-shaped system that can be submerged in a water-saturated medium.
The field of application of this technology is enormous, especially in Southeast Asia, rich in rice fields and wetlands and where access to electricity is difficult.
According to World Bank figures, less than half the population of Cambodia (31%) and Burma (49%) have access to electricity. In other countries such as Bangladesh (55%) or Laos (66%) the percentages are also low.