Written by Derek Markham for www.treehugger.com
Technology / Solar Technology
October 2, 2013
"For obvious reasons a nation surrounded by seawater, with NO native source of oil&gas, burnt for the next few decades by "old school nuclear energy" now turns to to stars to meet its long term energy needs "
- DRS Rant 10.14.13ASD567
On Earth, harvesting solar energy is limited to daylight hours, and is affected by weather conditions and the seasons of the year. But in space, those constraints don't apply, and space-based solar power could provide a continuous supply of clean, renewable energy, regardless of the time of year or any inclement weather on Earth.
In an effort to increase the options for supplying Japan with energy, their space agency, JAXA, is developing a method of harvesting solar energy from geostationary satellites sitting 36,000 km above the Earth, and transmitting it down to the planet's surface in the form of either laser beams or microwaves. The agency aims to launch a successful space-based solar power system by 2030, and is currently conducting ground-based experiments to determine the most effective way to transmit the energy across large distances.
"There are many technological challenges to solve before ...