What is space solar energy?
With space solar energy (SBSP), energy is collected by the sun in space and then transmitted wirelessly to Earth. Solar energy has several advantages. Although costly, it is the cleanest renewable energy source that can provide more energy than the world uses or should use in the future.
A spatial process of solar energy technology is to use solar panels to collect solar energy in space with inflatable reflectors or mirrors which direct the solar radiation towards the solar panels and then transmit them via microwaves or grounded using a laser. Energy is received on earth via a microwave antenna (a rectangle).
According to the National Space Society, space solar energy can eclipse all other sources of energy together. They argue that space solar energy can provide large amounts of energy with very little negative impact on the environment. It can also solve your current energy and greenhouse gas emissions problems.
The following infographic presents information on space solar energy, current trends, and research and funding activities from different countries.
Current global energy consumption and trends
Global energy consumption is only increasing. According to a report by Our World in Data from the University of Oxford on global primary energy consumption, current global consumption is more than 160,000 TWh per year. Solar energy provides only 585 TWh.
Although solutions for renewable energy, investment, and use are increasing, oil, coal, and gas still generate more than 80% of global energy consumption and solar energy generates less than 1%.
Current forecasts assume that the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion in 2050. With population growth, global energy consumption is expected to increase by 50% in 2050.
In addition, the effects of climate change are accelerating. Although we produce a large percentage of the world’s energy from fossil fuels, fossil fuels are contributing significantly to the increase in climate change.
By comparison, solar energy is the safest source of energy today, although it represents only a small percentage of global energy production. Mortality rates for solar production are 1,230 times lower than for coal and have one of the lowest CO2 emissions with 5 g CO2 equivalent per kWh.
Why space solar energy?
Space solar energy has several advantages. Unlike solar collectors on our roofs, which can only produce electricity during the day, space solar energy can produce electricity continuously 24 hours a day for 99% of the year. Unlike the Earth, the space environment has neither night nor day, and the satellites are in the shadow of the Earth for up to 72 minutes per night.
Space solar modules can continuously generate 2,000 gigawatts of energy. That’s 40 times more energy than a solar panel would produce on Earth each year. It is also several times greater than the efficiency of today’s solar modules.
In addition, unlike other alternative energies such as nuclear energy, coal, oil, gas and ethanol, space solar energy would generate 0% of greenhouse gas emissions. The current energy source that produces the least CO2 is nuclear energy, which produces CO2 equivalent to 5 g of CO2 per kWh.