It has long been theorized that the best way to harness the sun’s energy is to launch solar power systems into orbit. This week, the National Space Society (NSS) announced a new international initiative in which the US, India and other nations will band together to develop space-based solar power. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of the Republic of India and Mr. Mark Hopkins, executive committee chairman of the National Space Society said that the initiative has the potential of solving humanity’s energy needs and greatly mitigating climate change.

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Discussions first took place in 2010 after a study by the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses, an Indian Defense Ministry think tank. The results stated that space-based solar power generation had the potential to become a commercially viable business by 2025.

The international team also believe that space-bound solar energy could “make our planet livable again, after centuries of devastation of its environment and ecosystems and rapid depletion of its precious mineral resources, including fossil fuels and fresh water.”

In a joint statement Hopkins and Kalam, the international team said that the collaborative mission was brought about by sustained dialogue with “mutual respect, understanding, and trust.”

“It is essentially this process that has helped us to decide that the time has arrived for us to together attempt to give a direction and momentum to this movement to realize space solar power and its enabling technologies through international collaboration that can help rebuild our environmentally vulnerable planet.”

The next part of the mission will see the launch of a five-year $10-30 million programme which will develop contributing technologies and build a competent work force culminating in a road map for a demonstration prototype. The NSS aims to convince the G8/G20 nations to devote financial and technological resources to the project, not only so it can transform global energy demands, but create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the world and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We shall build upon the trusting relationships we have established and consolidated these last three years between NSS, Dr. Kalam, and others in India. We shall now strive to expand this relationship in an organized and well-structured manner towards an international collaborative mission to realize space solar power for all humanity.”

+ National Space Society

via Clean Technia