Japan is planning to try to beam solar power from space by 2025, according to a report by Nikkei. The project, which is being led by Kyoto University professor Naoki Shinohara, will involve deploying a series of small satellites in orbit. The satellites will collect solar energy and beam it back to Earth using microwaves.
The technology has the potential to provide a virtually unlimited source of renewable energy. Solar panels in space can collect energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are not affected by clouds or other weather conditions. However, the technology is still in its early stages of development, and several challenges need to be overcome before it can be widely deployed.
Shinohara is confident that the project will be successful. He has been working on space-based solar energy for over a decade, and he believes that the technology is now ready for commercialization.
If the project is successful, it could have a major impact on the global energy market. Solar power from space could provide a clean and reliable source of energy for countries around the world. It could also help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
The project is still in its early stages, but it is a promising development in the field of renewable energy. If successful, it could revolutionize the way we generate and use power.
Here are some additional details about the project:
- The satellites will be deployed in a geosynchronous orbit, which means that they will appear to stay in the same place in the sky relative to the Earth. This will allow the satellites to collect solar energy from the same spot on the Earth’s surface 24 hours a day.
- The microwaves used to transmit the energy back to Earth will be focused into a tight beam, which will help to reduce losses. The beam will be received by a ground-based antenna, which will convert the microwaves back into electricity.
- The project is being funded by a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and private companies. The government is providing funding for the development of the technology, while the private companies are providing funding for the construction and launch of the satellites.
Here are some of the potential benefits of space-based solar power:
- It is a renewable source of energy that can be used to generate electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- It is not affected by weather conditions, so it can be used in places where solar power is not currently feasible.
- It can be used to generate electricity in remote areas where it is difficult to build and maintain traditional power plants.
- It has the potential to be a more cost-effective way to generate electricity than traditional methods.
However, some challenges need to be overcome before space-based solar power can become a reality.
These challenges include:
- The cost of building and launching the satellites.
- The need to develop efficient and safe ways to transmit the energy back to Earth.
- The need to overcome public opposition to the project.
Despite these challenges, space-based solar power has the potential to revolutionize the way we generate and use energy. If successful, it could provide a clean, reliable, and affordable source of energy for the world.