Solar power has been gaining more and more traction in the past few years and, while we’re making progress, we could be taking bigger leaps, which is probably what China is trying to do now by creating a power station in space.
The news comes from Chinese-backed publication Science and Technology Daily (via The Sydney Morning Herald) and details how Chinese scientists have planned to build and launch power stations into the stratosphere between 2021 and 2025.
In 2030, China plans to build a megawatt-level power station that will be orbiting the Earth at 36,000 Km. This power station would not have to deal with atmospheric interference and neither would it lose sunlight during the night, which means that it could provide clean energy all the time.
According to the China Academy of Space Technology Corporation, this station would “reliably supply energy 99% of the time, at six-times the intensity” of the solar installations down here, on Earth.
The solar farm would convert the solar energy into electric energy and would beam it to Earth either via laser or microwaves, onto a receiving station which would transfer it all into the power grid.
It sounds like a plot out of a Science Fiction movie but, in reality, this technology is something other researchers have considered before.
Japan for example, managed to transmit energy wirelessly back in 2015 and the California Institute of Technology created a prototype that can both harness and transmit solar energy from space by using lightweight tiles.
As you can see, this futuristic idea is not so far fetched – all that’s left to see is who will achieve its solar goals first and, most importantly, what methods they will use to do so.