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Solar Botanic – Solar Power From Trees

Home owners associations in the USA have been known to object to solar panel installations purely on the basis of aesthetics. 
  
The dark monocrystalline solar panels usually aren’t so much a problem, but some home owners have faced solar panel snobbery when they have wanted to install polycrystalline panels; specifically those that are blue.
 
A company called Solar Botanic may have another solution for sensitive home owner associations – artificial trees that make use of renewable energy from the sun and wind. The artificial trees are covered with "nanoleaves"; a combination of nano-photovoltaic, nano-thermovoltaic and nano-piezo generators converting light, heat and wind energy into green electricity.
 
Solar Botanic claims that in a residential application, the artificial trees will generate 50% more power than conventional solar systems while blending in with the neighbourhood. Depending on size and location,  the company says a single tree can produce between 2000 and 12,000 kWh  of electricity annually. 
 
On a larger scale, Solar Botanic believes that a kilometre of trees would be able to generate approximately 350,000 kWh per year, enough electricity to power approximately 60 average size houses. 
  
The company uses an example of Highway 1 between Adelaide to Perth, which is 2700 kilometres long. 189,000 solar trees  "planted" along the road would generate over 1.2 GW of electricity; reduce our carbon footprint by more than 900 thousand tons of CO2 per year and produce enough electricity to power over 118,000 average size homes.
 
So where can you buy a Solar Botanics artificial tree? You can’t just yet – the company is still looking for potential JV partners who have the required sector expertise and funding to take this project from the R&D phase to full commercialisation.

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