An international team of scientists conducted a study that showed that the collection of solar power in space can be a cost-effective way to meet the world’s energy needs over the next 30 years. In addition, according to their estimates, the orbital power station, collecting the sun’s energy and transmit the energy beam on the ground, can be developed within the next decade.
The study was conducted by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), with headquarters in Paris.
IAA Study lasted for ten years, and it was attended by scientists from ten countries. This was the first study of this size and with so many of the participating countries. The study was conducted from 2008 to 2010 and since then has had time to go through peer review.
They developed the concept is the location of a satellite solar system near the equator, with a gradual increase in the total. The size of each of them will be calculated in kilometers. This satellite will be able to collect sunlight 24 hours a day.
The energy is converted directly into electricity in space, and then sent to the ground by means of laser or microwave radiation antenna.
Who will bear the costs associated with this project? The report includes a recommendation as to the state and the private sector to engage in the study of this area.
The demo version of moderate scale would cost tens of billions of dollars less than previously assumed, since there is no need for expensive spacecraft.
The advantage of space solar power plants before ground is the absence of bad weather conditions. However, skeptics point to the presence of space debris, the lack of analysis of the market and the fact of the need of development costs.