Ben Bova, the president emeritus of the National Space Society, recently suggested an incredible solution to the world’s energy crisis. Instead of taking solar panels and sticking them on your roof, he wants to send photovoltaic arrays off into space and beam solar energy down to earth. Since they are constantly exposed to the sun, such solar power satellites could provide a continuous stream of 5-10 gigawatts of energy!
In a recent Washington Post article Mr. Bova explains that the technology is not as farfetched as one would think. We already know how to send materials into space, and we have built large superstructures in zero-gravity environments (think the space station), so perhaps building a giant solar collector in space is not entirely out of the question.
His proposal is to build and launch solar power satellites – large photovoltaic arrays that constantly convert sunlight into electricity and use microwaves to beam that energy back to earth-bound receiving stations. According to Mr Bova, a single one of these satellites would send enough energy to power all of California. Since one would need a large surface to collect all of this energy, the best locations for receiving stations are dry areas such as the Nevada Desert or the Sahara.
Although the costs involved are fairly astronomical, the technology exists today, and this is not the first space-bound solar proposal that we have seen. So, what do you think – should someone give it a try?
- 3 Comments >
164 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 0 Comments >
- 19 Comments >
164 Comments >
- 82 Comments >
- 32 Comments >
- 90 Comments >
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 386 Comments >
- 365 Comments >
- 350 Comments >
282 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
277 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 228 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
- 187 Comments >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >
Two architects, Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer of BK. Architecten, in charge of the renovation of the old church decided to preserve the atmosphere of the existing place with a spatial intervention that preserves its historical value. The three new floors wereREAD MORE >
For centuries, the Dutch have manipulated the landscape to move water away from their dwellings. Instead of battling the elements, Netherlands-based firm Waterstudio just announced plans to construct the world's first floating apartment complex in 2014! TheREAD MORE >
The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?I'm off to the wilds of Montana this week, doing some in-person, up-close biomimicry research, and I've got my fingers crossed I'll see a grizzly bear. But you know, over there, not over here. With five inch long claws, massive muscular shoulders and forearms,READ MORE >
INHABITAT: How does the term Colorfast describe your latest show? R Nelson Parrish: The term Colorfast originally is a textile industry term derived at the beginning of the last century. It defines how a color cannot fade, wash out, or be diluted over time,READ MORE >
Photocredits: Architect Koen Olthuis - Waterstudio.NL and Pieter Kers FLOAT! is a beautiful volume that explores the world of floating architecture through historic, current, and future developments as well as the technologies behind them. Eye-catchingREAD MORE >