Now the UK Space Agency and British authorities are investing money in research into radiating space-based solar energy to Earth.
Previously, the concept of solar energy in space has already fallen on the high cost of launching large structures into orbit, but the development with a number of private players that have pushed prices means that the first obstacle has been removed.
Both the US and China have invested in research on SBSP (space-based solar power) systems and now the UK is doing the same. It is the UK Space Agency together with the agency BEIS, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, that keeps the money.
Engineering and Technology reports that the intended concept is based on satellites that capture solar energy and then convert it to high-frequency radio waves that bring down the energy to receivers on the ground, connected to the electricity grid.
There is no shortage of people who question whether it will ever be possible to send large amounts of energy over such long distances using radio waves – but now a study is being carried out with the aim of investigating what a system could look like, what it takes to build it. and whether the solution could be economically viable. In addition, there are the potential risks of sending energy to Earth.
The study is led by Frazer-Nash, and the technology consulting company believes that one of the biggest challenges will be to mount the huge satellites in orbit. In collaboration with an expert panel and various space authorities, the company will set up an engineering strategy for a functioning SBSP system that can be implemented by 2050.
For a satellite in geostationary orbit, the sun is only obscured by the earth for about three hours in spring and autumn, respectively. This means that the plant needs a very small energy storage capacity to maintain a constant supply.