Solar Greenhouse Grows Plants, Clean Energy

“Greenhouse” often carries a negative connotation when it comes to discussing the environment. But what if the same principle that contributed to climate change on a global scale could have a positive impact on energy consumption and the well-being of the planet?

Meet the Energy Grow Solar PV Greenhouse, a greenhouse that not only looks beautiful when filled with plants, but, when installed onto a house, actually provides about half of an average household’s electrical energy needs. Said to be the first of its kind, it was developed specifically by New Horizons Solar in England for people who were unable or unwilling to put traditional solar panels on their roofs.

image via New Horizons Solar

The Greenhouse’s frame, which comes in a variety of sizes, is built sustainably of red cedar wood, and it even comes with a power socket so that the space can be kept heated in winter. It is currently being shown at the annual Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and appeals to the ecologically-minded gardener.

In design, it is similar to the idea of solar panels installed on roofs of houses. Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells are arranged in panels along the structure’s roof, and the electrical energy converted from the sunlight provides the rest of the house with electrical energy.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.