Solar Greenhouses

Sustainability Problem:

  • Solar energy has limited useful capacity.
  • Greenhouses are increasing in number for their farming capacity and that growth is not sustainable.


  • Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a technology that generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems.
  • These greenhouses are outfitted with transparent roof panels embedded with a bright magenta luminescent dye that absorbs light and transfers energy to narrow photovoltaic strips, where electricity is produced.WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing theĀ plants to grow.
  • Plants grow considerably better, quicker and use considerably lesser water than traditional farming methods.
  • WSPV technology was developed by coauthors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers, both professors of physics at UC Santa Cruz, who founded Soliculture in 2012 to bring the technology to market.


  • Greenhouse builders
  • Farmers
  • Local communities
  • Utilities

Next Steps:

  • Experiment with local produce in different regions to check for viability
  • Attempt to scale this technology through quick adoption across diverse markets
  • Take greenhouses off grid completely by adding components of water





Comment on another post:


2 thoughts on “Solar Greenhouses

  1. I am a bit confused! The Cost per panel of WSPV technology is 65 cents per watt as per the article and it is also noted that only 20% of the tomato reap is benefited from the magenta windows. Do you think this Electricity-generating solar system could be better utilised in rural/urban areas for generating electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems?


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