CNN article on Solar Power Sats
|May 30, 2008||Posted by Dave S. under Global Warming, Off Topic, Science|
HT to Eric Anderson for the link.
By Lara Farrar
-Concept to beam solar power from satellites gains new global momentum
-Massive satellites would beam solar energy back to ground-based receivers
-Pentagon study says could be used for military operations, developing nations
Jyoti is the Hindi word for light. It’s something Pranav Mehta has never had to live without. And he is lucky. Near where he lives in Gujarat — one of the most prosperous states in India — thousands of rural villages lack electricity or struggle with an intermittent supply at best.
“We need to empower these villages, and for empowerment, energy is a must,” Mehta told CNN. “Rural India is suffering a lot because of a lack of energy.”
By 2030, India’s Planning Commission estimates the country will have to generate at least 700,000 megawatts of additional power to meet the demands of its expanding economy and growing population.
Much of that electricity will come from coal-fired power plants, like the $4 billion so-called ultra mega complex scheduled to be built south of Tunda Wand, a tiny village near the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea on India’s west coast. Dozens of other such projects are already or soon will be underway.
Yet Mehta has another solution for India’s chronic electricity shortage — one that does not involve power plants on the ground but instead massive sun-gathering satellites in geosynchronous orbits 22,000 miles up in the sky.
The satellites would electromagnetically beam gigawatts of solar energy back to ground-based receivers, where it would then be converted to electricity and transferred to power grids. And because in high earth orbit, satellites are unaffected by the earth’s shadow virtually 365 days a year, the floating power plants could provide round-the-clock clean, renewable electricity all year round.
Read the rest at the link above.