ESA Mulls Providing Power to Earth by Collecting Solar Energy in Space
The futuristic scheme would involve collecting solar energy in space and beaming it back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which would then be converted into electricity and introduced into the power grid.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is considering launching a program that may determine the viability of harvesting solar energy in space in order to provide clean power to Earth.
The goal of the new SOLARIS initiative is to “prepare the ground for a possible decision in 2025 on a full development programme by establishing the technical, political and programmatic viability of Space-Based Solar Power for terrestrial needs," according to a statement posted on the organization’s website.
The scheme the ESA seeks to explore and potentially implement involves collecting solar energy via solar panel farms in space and then beaming it down to Earth as microwaves to be converted into electricity and introduced into the power grid.
The program is expected to both supply Earth with clean energy and “ensure that Europe becomes a key player – and potentially leader – in the international race towards scalable clean energy solutions for mitigating climate change."
“We do need to convert into carbon neutral economies and therefore change the way we produce energy and especially reduce the fossil fuel part of our energy production,” ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher told one British media outlet. “If you can do it from space, and I'm saying if we could, because we are not there yet, this would be absolutely fantastic because it would solve a lot of problems.”