European Space Agency Approves Study To Send Electricity To Millions Of Homes

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 • 3:00 EST

A key focus of the Solaris programme is to establish whether it is possible to transfer the solar energy collected in space to electricity grids on Earth. The Sun's energy can be collected much more efficiently in space because there is neither night nor clouds. But there have also been advances in robotic construction in space and the development of technology to wirelessly beam electricity from space to Earth. ''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." This can't of course be done with an extremely long cable, so it has to be sent wirelessly, using microwave beams. Engineers sent 2 KW of power collected from solar cells wirelessly to collectors more than 30 metres away at a demonstration at the aerospace firm, Airbus in Munich in September. It will be a big step up to send gigawatts of power over thousands of miles, but according to Jean Dominique Coste, who is a senior manager for Airbus's blue sky division, it could be achieved in a series of small steps. The idea has been around for more than 50 years, but it has been too difficult and too expensive to implement, until maybe now. ( Continue reading.

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