Plants that give light

Posted on 11 March 2016.

In Lima, engineers have managed to light up a village in the Peruvian jungle without electricity. They used renewable plant-based energy. And there was light!

Over 1.3 billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity - 20% of the global population.

It is the latest innovation from the researchers at Utec, the University of Engineering and Technology in Lima, Peru. After inventing the 4x3 billboard that produces drinking water from the air and growing salad plants in the desert, they have recently created a light plant - the Plantalámpara.
How? By recovering electrical energy from the bacteria nestled in the earth that grow in the roots of the plant while photosynthesis is going on.

But as these microorganisms are produced in small quantities, you have to have a certain number of plant pots and install a multitude of small electrodes in the earth to make the process effective.
Not enough to curb the enthusiasm of Utec engineers, who were able to produce enough electrical energy to power a battery and bring light into the darkness for at least two hours.

65% of the population without electricity

Two hours is a very little on the scale of Western cities, but in Peru where nearly one in two people don’t have access to electricity, it’s a lot. Which is why Utec engineers have been working on this innovation which uses a clean, inexhaustible and immediately available source of electricity.
Moving from the laboratory to the field, they conducted tests in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in Nuevo Saposoa. In this very isolated community of 173 inhabitants, 65% of the population doesn’t have the convenience of electricity.
With Plantalámpara and its low energy light bulbs, the villagers now have a self-sufficient source of light in the darkness. And can limit their use of kerosene lamps, which produce toxic fumes and can cause fires in an area already badly affected by deforestation.