Europe invests in solar power from space

Europe invests in solar power from space

For him energy dependence and his greenhouse gas emissions For less, Europe is seriously considering generating energy in space. According to ESA Boss Joseph Aschbacher Space-based solar power technology is an important step towards energy independence and CO2 neutrality. 2 New, independent studies will recommend investments in technology.

studies consulting firms The UK’s Fraser-Nash and Germany’s Roland Berger were completed in August 2022. Both assess the potential and cost of solar power from space. Although the development Space Based Solar Energy Technology While still in the early stages, companies recommend investing early in technology to play a leading role here.

Space-based solar power technology is extremely complex

The concept is simple, at least in theory. Satellites collect solar energy in their orbit and send the energy back to Earth via microwaves. there the rays can pass through antennas collected and converted into electricity. ability The number of photovoltaic systems in space is much larger than on Earth. You can collect solar power continuously and not be bothered by clouds. In addition, they can align themselves so that sunlight is exactly in 90 degree angle falls on the panels.

However, the installation of such systems in space hundreds of billions of euros cost. Europe consumes about 3,000 terawatt hours of electricity per year. Getting about a quarter of this from space-based solar power technology would require dozens of satellites, 10 times larger than that International Space Station ISS, To build these systems, you would have to fly through space countless times. Consulting firm Fraser-Nash estimates that it will take 4 to 6 years for all parts of the same facility to be installed in orbit.

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great criticism of plans

But there is little criticism of the concept. Elon Muskwho would certainly benefit from the plans with his space company SpaceX, calling it “the.” Told stupid thing Anyway.” “With the solar array in orbit, you get twice the energy from the Sun, but you also have to double the conversion: from photon to electron to electron,” Musk said. “You’re going to have a tough 50 It also takes time to achieve percentage conversion efficiency.”

specifies it equally Caltech physicist and former NASA employee How Handmer In Her blog: “I can assume 100 percent transmission efficiency, transportation costs of $10 per kilo, full development and procurement cost parity, and extreme land scarcity on Earth. Still, space-based solar power will not be competitive.”

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