Space Solar Power (SSP) is the concept of collecting solar energy and beaming it to earth via wireless power transmission.
Its main advantage is overcoming the intermittency of earth based solar and wind energy. In Geostationary Earth Orbit the sun is visible almost all the time, with short periods totalling about three hours in the spring and autumn where the satellite is in the earth’s shadow. This means that SSP requires minimal energy storage to provide continuous base load power all year round, and it can be truly independent of fossil fuel backup generation.
It is a really ambitious system of systems, but its benefits could be transformative. It could offer the characteristics of nuclear power, delivering base load power 24/7, but with a limitless supply of fuel and without the nuclear waste. Many different SSP architectures and applications have been proposed in addition to provision of base load energy, from powering space exploration and lunar settlements, to terrestrial applications such as deployed military operations or disaster relief efforts in remote locations.
How can Frazer-Nash help?
With expertise in the space, energy and aerospace sectors, and a strong understanding of existing space-based solar power technologies, their relative merits and maturity, we can:
- Calculate the potential return on investment (ROI) of this energy, and undertake an environmental impact assessments and technical studies
- Compare the ROI of space-based solar power with that of other green energy sources
- Assess the risks/maturity of SBSP concepts.