Solar Power in Orbit

Sending Solar Plants to Space

By Brianna Panzica
Monday, November 14th, 2011

The International Academy of Astronautics, the Paris-based headquarters for astronomical science, released a report today on their version of solar power.

According to the report, which will be made public at a conference in Washington on Monday, the most effective way to obtain solar power would be in space.

The report shows that within 30 years it could be possible to power the globe this way.

It proposes “orbiting power plants,” as the Vancouver Sun reports, plants that would be able to gather energy from the sun ceaselessly since sunset and weather would not factor in.

The report does not set out specific details, the article reports, but the Academy study group had researched the technology and determined that it would be very possible.

Government funding would be essential to the project, however.

The report states “economic uncertainties” of the potential projects as a reason that private funding could not be a sole source of investment.

As the Academy proposes, it would start off with just one plant.  More would be added until it was enough to harvest energy to be used worldwide.

The Vancouver Sun reports that John Mankins, leader of the study, and his company have received $100,000 from NASA to explore the project.

Dawn says that international interest is on the rise in this project.  Global climate change has become a worldwide concern, and oil isn’t a lasting resource.

The globe needs cleaner forms of energy.

This project, as the report points out, is possibly the cleanest available.  The plants are located in space, so they would have virtually no environmental impact.

There’s no other alternative energy source that can offer that sort of possibility.

That’s all for now,

Brianna


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