Even if you could justify the absurd expense and overcome the technical hurdles of this Duck Dodgers fantasy power scheme, what makes anyone think they could overcome people’s terror of having GigaWatts of microwave power fired at the Earth from space? Some people are frightened of WiFi and home-experienced EMFs, for Heaven’s sake!
An artist’s rendering provided by SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc. shows a modern design for an orbital power plant beaming renewable energy to the developing world in this image released to Reuters on November 12, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc./Handout
The sun’s abundant energy, if harvested in space, could provide a cost-effective way to meet global power needs in as little as 30 years with seed money from governments, according to a study by an international scientific group.
Orbiting power plants capable of collecting solar energy and beaming it to Earth appear “technically feasible” within a decade or two based on technologies now in the laboratory, a study group of the Paris-headquartered International Academy of Astronautics said.
Such a project may be able to achieve economic viability in 30 years or less, it said, without laying out a road map or proposing a specific architecture.
“It is clear that solar power delivered from space could play a tremendously important role in meeting the global need for energy during the 21st century,” according to the study led by John Mankins, a 25-year NASA veteran and the U.S. space agency’s former head of concepts.
The academy is headed by Madhavan Nair, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization. The study was billed as the first broadly based international assessment of potential paths to collecting solar energy in space and delivering it to markets on Earth via wireless power transmission. (Reuters)