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How to make space-based solar power a reality

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Young researchers at Caltech, guided by Prof. Ali Hajimiri, have successfully detected a solar power signal beamed wirelessly from space to Earth
• This breakthrough could represent a significant step towards realizing the potential of harnessing solar power from space as an energy source

🔭 The context: The idea of space solar power, while first conceptualized by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, has evolved over the years
• With climate change becoming an urgent concern and advancements in space technology, the concept is now gaining traction with various nations exploring its potential

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Space-based solar power offers a continuous energy source, as satellites can stay in constant sunlight
• Harnessing this power and converting it for use on Earth could contribute to our net zero targets, making it a sustainable and revolutionary energy alternative

⏭️ What's next: While several nations and private entities are investing in the research and development of space solar power, challenges remain
• The next steps involve determining the viability, safety, and efficiency of this technology, along with addressing potential regulatory and global governance issues

💬 One quote: “Space-based solar power may be more feasible than nuclear fusion for meeting net zero targets,” (John Mankins, former NASA physicist)

📈 One stat: A 2020 UK study estimated the cost for a 2GW space solar power station to be about £16bn, while a 3.2GW nuclear power station was estimated at £33bn, suggesting the economic potential of space solar in the long run

Click for more news covering the latest on renewables

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