Solar Power from Space

Solar Power from Space

The EU has resurrected an old idea to try to resuscitate its efforts to eliminate fossil fuels.

Interestingly, the National Security Space Office issued a report in October 2007 that proposed Space Based Solar Power (SBSP), using satellites.

The report said:

“Place very large solar arrays into continuously and intensely sunlit Earth orbit (1,366 watts/meter squared) collect gigawatts of electrical energy, electromagnetically beam it to Earth, and receive it on the surface for use either as baseload power via direct connection to the existing electrical grid, conversion into manufactured synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, or as low‐intensity broadcast power beamed directly to consumers.”

“A single kilometer‐wide band of geosynchronous Earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in one year to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today.”

At the time, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, chairman of the spaceflight advocacy group ShareSpace Foundation, said, “This is a solution for all mankind.”

Space-Based Solor Power as an Opportunity for Strategic Security 10 October 2007
Cover From Report to Director, National Security Space Office Interim Assessment

The Department of Energy also has a web page fostering interest in the concept.

Obviously, the technical problems were unsurmountable in 2007, and still are.

Europe has recently recognized it cannot eliminate the use of fossil fuels, and is reaching out for any possible idea that can rescue its failed program.

This is the reason Europe has suddenly focused on hydrogen as the means for saving its climate change program. Solar power from space is another concept they may adopt to rescue their program.

Someday, solar power from space could become a reality, but the costs will be huge until there are scientific breakthroughs for launching light-weight solar panels into space.

Conjecturing about solar power from space is not the solution to Europe’s failing program to eliminate fossil fuels.

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Related Article: Solar Potential

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3 Replies to “Solar Power from Space”

  1. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #439 – Climate- Science.press

  2. Only nukes would allow the EU to eliminate fossil fuels. But the Germans especially wish to eliminate all nukes.

    Of course the Europeans would also need to synthesise hydrocarbon fuels with hydrogen and CO2 extracted from the environment. This not particularly difficult but it would be expensive. Though nowhere near as expensive as running everything with solar power from space.

    • You are correct about nuclear power in Europe. It’s the only way it could approach their goal of eliminating fossil fuels, but Europeans are, in general, opposed to building nuclear power plants. Even France, which had a majority of its electricity from nuclear power, is backtracking and showing signs of wanting to eliminate nuclear power plants.

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