Solar power blasted from space? Japan says, "Go!"

by JGordon on Sep. 01st, 2009

Well, Japan probably doesn't say "Go" exactly, because I don't think it means the same thing in Japanese. But the country is prepared to shell out $21 billion for a space-based, energy-beaming solar power plant.

The same sort of thing was talked about in this post, but that project was being lead by an upstart company, which kinda makes me think that their satellite power plant is a long way off. Japan wants the technology ready inside of four years. (They don't expect the plant to be operating until about twenty or thirty years from now, though.)

The plan is for the satellite to produce about 1 gigawatt. From my super-lazy internet searches, it looks like that's about the same output as a nuclear power plant. Nuclear power plants are cheaper to build (this site says the cost can be around $10 or $15 billion per station), and you don't have to go into space to fix them. But then there's also the cost of obtaining and processing nuclear fuel, and then dealing with it afterwards. Apples and oranges, maybe.

But it's kind of an interesting project, I think.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Lorretta's picture
Lorretta says:

it's sooo cool of an experirence i can't explain it. i mean how can you get energy and so;ar power to change into fuel to use for biosphere 1? I mean using the power to grow somethimg is cool, even if its for a single apple! I think it's pretty exciting! It's absolutely amazing, biosphere 2! =)

posted on Thu, 12/31/2009 - 4:39pm

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