Solar-Powered Microbes: A Promising Technology to Feed the World

The agricultural sector is among those requiring massive amounts of resources and lands for feeding the population. As the global human population is constantly increasing, the demand for food and supply is also growing and putting stress on the agricultural sector.

Addressing such rising problems in the agricultural sector solely through traditional ways of farming cannot be enough and might have negative impacts on the environment.

What do microbes mean?

Microbes refer to unicellular organisms that cannot be seen by the naked eyes. These microbes are also called microscopic or microorganisms as they are visible only under advanced microscopes.

The term “microbes” is generally used for describing different life forms that exist in different characteristics and sizes.

Following are a few examples of microbes:

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Protists
  • Viruses
  • Archaea

Microbes are said to be beneficial as well as dangerous. It is because certain microbes can cause severe diseases and infections and can even spoil food and other related materials.

New Technology for Producing Protein from Microbes

As per the recent research by the German University of Göttingen, a unique technology has been developed that uses solar panels for producing microbes’ proteins. These microbes are not only rich in proteins but also have several other nutrients needed by humans.

This technology works by utilizing microbes, land, carbon dioxide, and solar energy and helps in preserving the environment and reducing resource consumption compared to traditional agriculture.

In the last few years, solar-powered microbes have witnessed several applications in different industries such as bakery, beverages, dairy, and meat.

Companies functioning in the global microbe market have started shifting their focus more toward the adoption of advanced technologies for minimizing the production cost of microorganisms.

In the coming years, this shift is expected to allow solar-powered microbes to enter the market without any challenges. Moreover, this technology will help in reducing the operational costs of the microbes and make them cost-effective options for several commercial applications.

Industry Insight of Solar-Powered Microbes

Solar-powered microbe technology is much more convenient and easier to use. Several countries around the world are constantly increasing their expenses on food containing high nutrients.

As per BIS Research, Germany and the U.S. are set to be the early adopters of solar-powered microbes and have their dominance in the coming years in the solar-powered microbes market

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Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the largest microbes’ importers are also showing high potential to convert and grow themselves into a multi-million-dollar market.

Key Factors Pushing the Growth of Solar-Powered Microbes Market

  • Increase in government initiatives for promoting the use of solar energy
  • Better efficiency rate of solar-powered microbes
  • Eco-friendly technique of production at the industrial scale

How do solar-powered microbes work?

Solar-powered microbes work with the support of computer simulations being used directly on the laboratory results. Biomass, which is high in protein, is harvested and then processed in an accurate manner, ending up as a powder to be used as a feed option for animals and a food option for humans.

The technology requires different amounts of energy varying from step to step, such as electricity generation, production of electrochemical for the use of microbes, harvesting, and processing the biomass rich in proteins.

As per the studies, for producing one kilogram of protein, solar-powered microbes only require 10% of the farming land, even for growing plants such as soybean.

Also, the solar-powered microbes technology is capable of growing plants in the northern climates, having low sunshine, and minimizing the use of fertilizers and water. Moreover, this technology can even be helpful in regions that are not suitable for agriculture, such as deserts.


At present, 30%-40% of Earth’s land is being used for farming, and yet every one person out of ten is undernourished. The adoption of solar-powered microbes can be a great benefit for the agriculture sector for growing plants with the use of fewer resources.

This technology can help to free-up massive amounts of farming land, thereby reducing the negative impact on the natural ecosystems.

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BIS Research

BIS Research

BIS Research offers exclusive market intelligence reports on disruptive technologies. Each year we publish over 200 titles across industry verticals.

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