The moon affects the tides on Earth, helps brightens the night sky, and soon it might also provide us with even more solar power. Tokyo-based Shimizu Corporation wants to install a belt of solar panels 250 miles wide around the equator of our orbiting natural satellite. This massive, 6,800 mile long solar array called the “Luna Ring” would then relay a constant stream of energy to receiving stations on the planet by beaming lasers and microwave transmission. The proposed Luna Ring, according to Shimizu’s specifications, would send 13,000 terawatts of power to Earth.
Shimizu didn’t put a price tag on the moon-bound solar project, but we bet it would be astronomical. Even so, the company says construction work could start as early as 2035. Shimizu believes it can develop robots that will mine the moon’s natural resources to produce the concrete and the solar cells. The 6,800 mile solar belt would eventually provide Earth with a constant stream of solar energy as the moon revolves around our planet.
The project was originally proposed in 2010, but it received renewed interest after the Fukushima Nuclear power plant disaster. In the last year the Fukushima plant has been the subject of constant investigations that have raised questions about the wisdom of operating nuclear plants in Japan. Meanwhile, the island country has been researching and embracing a variety of new energy sources that are greener and safer.
Images © Shimizu Corporation