The economic feasibility argument turns on a long-term international R&D effort, supported by US, G12, China, Russia and ALBA nations funded through the World Bank. Huge start-up costs launching, infrastructure, logistics) can be absorbed over a 25-year period while ground based large-scale infrastructure is being developed. Need: a 25 year plan in 5-year increments, unprecedented international cooperation, long-term cost analysis; Need: improved solar cell efficiency and performance horizon between replacement and maintenance, launch cost under $1000/lb. Patrick Fahey, Math Educator
The world's energy sources are in under great stress. Space-based solar power would make bills be much more lower, and it would help save the earth's atmosphere.
With the increasing power demands in the world, due to many developing countries, solar-based power would potentially be an excellent source of energy that will not pollute the environment or provide danger to any citizens. I believe that any source of energy that is renewable and will not pollute the environment should be implemented.
I think that any form of solar power is an excellent idea. In today's society, we should be trying every option we can to help preserve what remains of our environment. The world needs to learn to conserve, recycle, and reuse as much as possible. We only have one planet, and we should be concerned with keeping it as inhabitable as possible.
Space Based Solar Power will not only create over a million new jobs and help restart the economy, but it is a logical plan that will deal with some of the energy problems. People will not have to pay outlandish prices for gas and oil, we have an unlimited source of power that if we lock into, can have us set for the future. New cars that run on electricity are very logical cause all of the vehicles that run on gas will eventually become useless. Skeptics have to realize, OUR NATURAL RESOURCES WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. The land that is used as receivers will not be effected on earth, it can still be agriculturally available. The beam of energy which can be provided by PowerSat, a leader in the development of a program like this. This beam will not effect any aircraft passing through it. This is also harmless to the nature that passes through it. The choice is simple, provide jobs, get clean energy, save money, Its practically a plan to reboot Americas economy. More money from having jobs and not wasting it on gas and heating, spending it which then circulates money. This is the clear choice for most people, unless your one of those people that thinks that the world's going to end in 2012, and in that case,you better just keep building that bomb shelter in your back yard. :)
It will save us lots of energy. We are experiencing global warming as the result of using earth's fossil fuels. Solar power is needed to slow down global warming and save the planet. It is actually cost-effective too. It will definitely save families money in these horrible economical times in the long run.
In my opinion, any kind of solar power is a good idea. We need to be examining all of the possibilities for energy at this point. Space-based solar power sounds like a very interesting thing to get into. We could definitely use a different form of energy, even if it is space based.
We personally own a solar panel and have seen how great they work, and I'm sure the benefits of solar panels would be multiplied in space. Advancement as a society cannot happen until we find efficient ways to harness energy in alternative ways.
By relying on the sun for energy, we can reduce the carbon imprint on the world and the environment. Using a space-based power source utilizes new technology and allows the apparatus to be removed from the planet.
If the technology is advanced enough and inexpensive enough, this would be a wonderful way to solve many of the energy problems facing the world today and in the future. This could provide unlimited power for electric vehicles, forever relieving us of our dependence on oil for transportation. Power for cities, factories and all other uses would be clean and essentially free. Maintenance and the initial placement in space would be the primary expenses.
I can not imagine how putting massive solar panels in space would ever be cost effective as a way to get our power needs on earth. The people from NASA are already warning of the hazards of space junk and the threat it poses to the International Space Station. Now put a target like a massive solar panel in space, sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
My best guess is that it would not be economically feasible to put solar panels in space right now. It might be a good idea in the future if we can master putting objects in space at much lower costs. If you spend $100 billion dollars in installation costs to save $1 billion in energy costs, you are much worse off.
We, as a nation, do not yet know the long-term effects of putting objects in orbit around the earth on this large of a scale. We do know objects put in orbit around the earth do sometimes fall back to earth. I do not believe we yet have the technology to guarantee that this will not happen with solar panels, which I imagine will be of massive size.
Rather than contemplating literally outlandish ideas about power generation such as space-based electricity plants, government policy should simply work to free the capitalist system to make efficient use of the power sources here on earth. Socialist efforts to make coal and natural gas resources off limits have been so successful that silly notions like space-based power generation can apparently be discussed in some circles with a straight face. Anyone who has actually ventured out to visit a working power plant here on earth would have noticed the hundreds of steel towers supporting miles of thick power lines. Clean burning coal power plants are being shut down because they emit carbon dioxide - and very little else. There are rolling black outs in Texas because of the closings of clean coal power plants, an issue vastly more important than "pie in the sky" space-based solar power.
Space based solar power will cost too much money and will not offer as good a form of energy as cheaply. While it does not affect the environment as drastically, it will be expensive, and will require a lot of land and resources to get running.
Space-based solar power is not a good idea largely for infrastructure reasons. We have not yet figured out how to transmit the energy back to Earth and with what infrastructure. Additionally, the cost would probably be high. Instead, we should continue to focus our efforts on domestic solar power utilizing rooftops of commercial and residential properties where the infrastructure question can be more easily addressed and where the private side has already shown interest in investing its money.
The main problem with space-based solar power as it exists now is that transmitting the power collected by the orbiting solar array to the place where it will be used is difficult and inefficient. The most promising technology seems to be direct wireless microwave transmission of the power, but its efficiency is still lower than the rather-inefficient solar panels on house roofs. Projections seem to suggest that these problems may be overcome within 20-30 years.
At some point in the future, space-based solar power may be a solution to providing a clean and sustainable energy economy. But today the technology to make it economically feasible does not exist. It would prove to be an enormously expensive project to build a vast array of solar collecting facilities in orbit, and there isn't even a viable way to transport the energy produced back down to Earth for consumption.