Space-based solar: China starts to planet!

The solar panels of the future could harness the sun’s energy directly from space. That’s according to Dan Lewis, Energy Policy Adviser to the Institute of Directors (IoD) and CEO of […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The solar panels of the future could harness the sun’s energy directly from space.

That’s according to Dan Lewis, Energy Policy Adviser to the Institute of Directors (IoD) and CEO of Future Energy Strategies, who spoke to ELN at our Energy Live Future Conference in Leicester last week.

He said: “We’re going to start accessing space more cheaply and that may potentially lead to space based solar power, which would be a huge advantage.

“It turns out that China plans to build the first space based solar power station in 2025, a 100kW system. The reason I think it’s exciting is because it will work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and beam down power either with a microwave or a laser – that’s an amazing achievement.”

 
He said the technology would be suited to rich countries, not only because the initial cost of installation would be high but also because it would be well suited for disaster relief, by transmitting energy directly down to wherever it is needed.

He added space-based solar could help meet the “untapped demand” for energy he expects to see in the future as electric transport and robotics systems become increasingly widespread.