The Future Starts Here: Space-based Solar Power TransmissionEko Prasetyo,
One of the world biggest issues nowadays except the global warming, poverty, and war, comes to the limited source of energy supplies. Fossil fuel, which is so far, becomes the major source of energy, seems to get shrunk down. Even though the oil production in many countries around the globe, especially in the middle-east, has reportedly increase, but we realized that this think is no more than an illusion. However, we know that fossil fuel is limited, and it will ever be. This fact was strengthened by some report which stated that the oil production in some major oil supplier countries such as Venezuela, and even China, is getting lower by the year of 2015. And it’s predicted to keep getting lower and lower continuously. So, regarding to this matter, why don’t we put concern on other kind of energy sources then? Space-based Solar Power Transmission for example.
Read more about space-based solar power transmission in this wiki page.
The Trend of Solar Energy
In the mean time, our mind has blown away by the latest projects of Elon Musk because yes, his projects are just so impressive. In fact, he is always impressive at everything he does. Take a look at Tesla, or Space X. They are the real breakthrough in technology. And along with these Tesla and Space X projects, Musk has been succeeded in breaking the traditional perspective of technology and science. So, no wonder if this South-African born guy was called “Tony Stark” in real life.
But apparently, we will not talk about those Tesla or Space-X things anyway, since I believe you’ve heard it for a million times on Twitter. But now, we’re going to talk something that is close enough to Musk’s recent inventory, something about solar power. It is Space-based Solar Power Transmission, the thing that I’ve been interested in recently.
Before Space-based Solar Power Transmission is fully realized, Musk has caught the fire by starting Tesla-Solar City project in Connecticut, where he planned to expand this project over the United States, Germany, and some other countries around the globe. More than that, he also introduced the new technology of solar panel that can be used as roof.
Well, they are interesting because yes they are. But however, I think they also have limitation. Especially in some areas where the spaces are densely populated, I think it will be hard to build a widely large solar farm. More than that, solar panel roof will not be relevant all year due to the weather changing and some other climate factors. So, for the sake of world energy supply fulfillment, why don’t we put all these solar panels in space?
Why Do We Should Boost the Development of Space-based Solar Power Transmission
The intention of building Space-based Solar Power Transmission has spread among the science and technology communities several years ago. Solar is unlimited, renewable, and clean. Even though some researches show that nuclear has the higher level of cleanse, but for the sake of safety, I bet solar energy is superior compared to the nuke. So, there is no strong reason in rejecting the idea of solar energy. Further, the idea of this energy supply technology is simple. We build the solar power farm in space, and transfer the power created on it to earth, wirelessly. By building it in space, it means there will be unlimited room provided, with unlimited sunlight, and no weather disruption.
Seeing the promising usage of this technology, the Japanese government has started a massive research regarding to develop this technology. This project was pioneered by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). This institution even targeted to send 1 gigawatt solar energy to earth by the year of 2030.
Well, apparently, Japan is not alone. Recently, we know that country such as China also showed their interest to develop this Space-based Solar Power Transmission, signaling that this kind of energy source seems to be a trend in the future. But, over those efforts in realizing this solar power technology, there is one tricky part that not everyone can easily overcome. It is about the system that will be used to transfer the power.
The Issue of Space-based Solar Power Transmission Development
Well, I don’t wanna talk about how this technology works, or how this technology is supposed to work since previously we have talked about it (see my other article: Get Instant Energy Transfer with Wireless Energy Transmission). But, long range wireless power transmission will definitely become the strongest candidate to transfer the power. However, it’s a bit tricky actually, especially an creating advance transferring technology to send huge amount of power through space in millions miles away, wirelessly. Lucky for us, this thing seems to be about solved. Thanks to Mitsubishi group, who recently, along with JAXA, demonstrated its progress on long range wireless power transmission. Now, the company has been able to transfer 10 kilowatts of energy over 500 meters of distance using antenna. With this progress, Space-based Solar Power Transmission seems to be possible in very near future.
Remembering that the energy supply is something really important these days, and not many of those who are existing are not renewable, not clean, and have many safety issue, the Space-based Solar Power Transmission could be a brilliant way out. But, unlike fossil fuel, this energy supply is renewable. In contrast with Nuclear power plant, space solar power farm is relatively safe. And if we find earth-based solar power farm can’t operate in rainy season, space based solar could operate all years. Therefore, for the sake of creating a better life, we are a hundred percent believe this tech will bring good to all of us.