California gives green light to space solar power

solar from space

Energy beamed down from space is one step closer to reality, now that California has given the green light to a deal involving its sale. But some major challenges will have to be overcome if the technology is to be used widely.

On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission gave its blessing to an agreement that would see the Pacific Gas and Electric Company buy 200 megawatts of power beamed down from solar-power satellites beginning in 2016.

A start-up company called Solaren is designing the satellites, which it says will use radio waves to beam energy down to a receiving station on Earth.

The attraction of collecting solar power in space is the virtually uninterrupted sunshine available in geosynchronous orbit. Earth-based solar cells, by contrast, can only collect sunlight during daytime and when skies are clear.

New Scientist: California gives green light to space solar power

(via Dangerous Minds)

1 Comment

  1. Lord Snorkington

    December 10, 2009 at 4:30 am

    “Earth-based solar cells, by contrast, can only collect sunlight during daytime and when skies are clear.”

    False.

    In fact, the technology already progressed beyond the assumptions in that statement a few years ago.

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