Solar Energy Electricity Farm in Space: Has Potential, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Says Possible by 2030
With the looming energy crisis across the globe, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has comes up with a new proposal that would solve Japan's energy woes in the foreseeable future. Without sufficient fossil fuel and other natural energy resources, JAXA's last-ditch proposal looks like it came straight out of a science-fiction film.
The answer? A power source from outer space -- solar energy. A series of platforms installed with huge groups of solar panels will be launched to orbit the planet, collecting solar energy. Basically, JAXA plans to build a space-based solar energy farm, while having a ground-level counterpart here on Earth.
Here's how the project will work. JAXA will place its platforms in space to collect solar energy in orbit and beam it down in the form of microwaves, which would then be converted into electricity for commercial use.
While it may be hard to imagine, JAXA says that this can actually be set up and be fully functional by 2030, provided that the initial stages for work begins by 2020. Demonstrations should also be done by then.
Susumu Sasaki, a researcher of JAXA, explains that while the actualization of this project would require massive labor and financial outlay, the long-term payoff for Japan would be just as enormous or even greater. This project might even have the potential of revolutionizing the energy industry worldwide as solar energy can -- in theory -- provide unlimited energy. With a ring of satellites in orbit, the major energy conflicts can be put to an end.
With a lack of natural energy resources, and nuclear reactors getting destroyed by earthquakes or the tsunami, Japan becomes more desperate to come up with an answer to the persisting and growing difficulties the country faces.
Apart from economic relief, a new source of energy would also help the country replace many of its power plants that have become a major concern in the lives of its citizens.