New Green Roof Technology Provides Electricity

plant energy

Problem: Household Dependence on Non-Renewable Energy

The problem lies in the fact households rely so much on non-renewable energy for their electricity needs. Consequently, non-renewable energy has a number of impacts on both the environment and human health. It is also non-replenishable, which will have economic repercussions.

Technology: “Plant Power: The New Technology Turning Green Roofs into Living Power Plants” by Lucy Ingham

A new technology, created by the company, Plant-e, uses living plants in green roofs, parks and other green spaces, to generate energy. The technology works by converting waste electrons and protons generated by bacteria in the soil into usable electricity. This harnessed electricity can be used to charge phones, power lights and cut down a house’s reliance on external electricity sources.


Plant-e tech engineers/designers

Technological partners


Parks, buildings and green spaces

Consumers of the technology


In order to implement this technology on a large-scale, a number of investors need to be introduced

So far, this technology has only been launched in the Netherlands, more marketing and campaigning should be implemented to push its use in the U.S and other countries

Create educational opportunities for the public to learn about the technology and see how they can implement it in their own communities




2 thoughts on “New Green Roof Technology Provides Electricity

  1. Intersting finding. Unfortunately the numbers for Watt per m² are not sufficiently provided. According to Plante-e promo movie you need 15m² (or about 150sf) to charge a cell phone = 4W and assuming in 24 hours or 0.27W/m² in 24 hours.
    In a fully integrated combination of solar and green roof (Solar Garden Roof) you get around 15W/m² only in sunny days. Assuming there are only 6 hours a day sunny as an annual average this is 3.74W/m²/24 hours. This is is almost 15 times more.
    From a horticultural stand point the plant-e technology cannot be much improved without taking plant live cycles into account (hardly assimilation in winter) if not “swicheded” to plants that are most likely not typical for a certain location.
    The plant-e system also requires a certain amount of consitent water level. On thin layered Solar Garden Roofs this is not necessary and so the maintenace for the plants is at least 30 times less per year. The water requires addidional 30-50% structural support of roofs of what a regular extensive green roof requires. Since most roofs don’t allow even an extensive green roof this technology and the payback is not attractive to comparing existing technologies.
    Having certain water levels on a roof may cause an increase of unwanted and water breeding insects.

    This technology might be better for hydroponic systems that could improve their environmentally questionable image.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s