Long-Range Plans for Space-based Solar Power

Solar arrays beaming solar power down from space – a feasible idea or an unlikely fantasy?According to a Pentagon report released in October, space-based solar power (SBSP) is more feasible than not, and a new, market-based approach may be the answer. SBSP - Space Based Solar PowerThe idea of SBSP is nothing new; in fact, the technology already exists. The challenge of applying it lies in cost. An msn.com article reports that the Pentagon will launch initial arrays in orbit by 2016, luring a growing private space industry to take over operations from there. The massive solar arrays will be situated for nearly constant exposure to sunlight, transmitting multiple megawatts of energy to receivers in remote locations throughout the U.S. Each receiver will be connected to the national grid. The hope is that SBSP will provide 10 percent of the U.S.’s base load power supply by 2050. With a single kilometer-wide array collecting enough in one year to rival the energy in the entire world’s oil reserves, the potential is certainly there. SBSP is still a long-range plan, and environmental impacts of that plan have yet to be examined. With SBSP costs estimated in the billions and trillions, Earth-based solar panels are still the way of the future. But don’t rule out the present. Residential solar technology is available now for modest investment. Receive multiple quotes on your solar installation from certified solar contractors. Links: Space-based Solar Power Beams Become Next Energy Frontier [tags]SBSP, Solar Based Solar Power[/tags]

Posted on January 24 in Solar News by .

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