Accession Number : ADA567884
Title : Solar Power in Space?
Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL STRATEGIC STUDIES QUARTERLY
Personal Author(s) : Garretson, Peter
Report Date : Jan 2012
Pagination or Media Count : 28
Abstract : Space-based solar power (SBSP) is a concept for a revolutionary energy system. It involves placing into orbit stupendously large orbital power plants kilometers across which collect the sun s raw energy and beam it down to where it is needed on the earth. In theory, SBSP could scale to meet all of humanity s energy needs, providing virtually unlimited green, renewable power to an energy-hungry world. Most renewable energy schemes suffer from intermittency and low energy density, requiring vast amounts of land and extensive storage as well as fossil fuel backup systems. Not so with SBSP systems. When placed in orbit where the sun shines constantly, they can deliver stable, uninterrupted, 24-hour, large-scale power to the urban centers where the majority of humanity lives. A network of thousands of solar-power satellites (SPS) could provide all the power required for an Earth-based population as large as 10 billion people, even for a fully developed first world lifestyle but without the environmental downsides of nuclear or coal.
Descriptors : *SOLAR ENERGY , *SPACE BASED , BACKUP SYSTEMS , NETWORKS , ORBITS
Subject Categories : Astrophysics
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE