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Solar Power From Space by 2030 Possible?

via Ecogeekvia Ecogeek

 

What would it take to harness solar power from space then beam it down to earth? Money? Years? Super long cables? Solar panel maker Mitsubishi Electric Corp and IHI Corp would like to find out.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp and IHI Corp have agreed to work with several companies, to develop technology for a solar station in space. It will take about $21 billion to fund this Japanese project and about 20 years to try to make it happen.That is a lot of time and money.

The plan is to make it a 1-gigawatt solar station. The station will have 4 square kilometers of solar panels and it will be enough to power about "294,000 average Tokyo homes". They are considering launching their first mission in 2015 for testing.

One of the challenges right now of course is the cost. Transporting solar panels from earth to space will be costly. They have to figure out a way to cut the cost to make the solar station commercially viable, according to Hiroshi Yoshida the CEO of Excalibur KK. So, will it happen? Only time, technology and money will tell. What will a solar power station like this do for the world? What do you think? Will solar power from space be possible before or by 2030?

For more information on this solar power Japanese project take a look at the Bloomberg report here.

 

 

Via Ecogeek and Earth2Tech and Bloomberg

Comments
Sep 12, 2009
by Anonymous

Doable

Fold solar arrays into shuttle or ELV or HLLV into Orbit for placement & use ISS as the " Construction shack" for the whole Ops.
Shuttle satellite bodies to ISS to make with Solar arrays for worldwide coverage.

Urge test sites in: AZ NV HI So CA UT TX CO Canada.
Id invest in this Big time

Sep 13, 2009
by Anonymous

plenty of sun down here

There is plenty of solar radiation here on the planet's surface to supply all of our energy needs. There is plenty of square footage - even for low density panels. Rooftops alone, are sufficient.

Why go through the engineering complexities, delivery challenges, and exceptional cost of putting the panels in space? It doesn't really make sense.

Additionally the distributed power generation model is significantly more energy efficient even if it doesn't model itself well to a centralized global business model and threatens some big corporate players. Centralized power generation, whether from space, or some artificial island in the ocean, the desert, or some old cornfield, is not the way we should be moving in the future.