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Space Solar Power


Description

Summary

It is only through the availability of vast amounts of cheap energy - largely from fossil fuels - that the world population grew from less than 1 billion in 1800 to more than 7 billion in 2013. Most of that energy is used in the format of electricity, with most of that electricity generated through the burning of coal. As the world’s economy has grown over the past three decades - raising the quality of life in India, China and many other countries - the need has become all the more urgent to increase the available energy for industry, transportation, for heating and cooling, for personal use and so on. Just before the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, this soaring demand resulted in drastic increases in the prices of the most conventional sources of energy. In addition, during the past several decades concerns have emerged that society’s overwhelming dependency on fossil fuel is driving other kinds of change: growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) and increases in average global temperatures. If left unchecked, most scientists now believe that increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will alter the global climate by end of this century, with sweeping impacts on societies across the globe. As a result, there is great interesting in finding new, more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy supplies. Of the non-fossil fuel alternatives that exist - hydroelectric power, nuclear power, wind power, wave energy and others - one of the most accessible and intuitively attractive is solar power. However, despite significant advances in performance, reduction in cost and dramatic growth in the total deployed capacity in recent years, ground-based solar power remains largely a niche technology, providing only a small portion of society’s energy needs. Fortunately, there is a promising alternative to  conventional solar-based power systems: Space Solar Power.


Category of the action

Reducing emissions from electric power sector.


What actions do you propose?

Reliable and fundamental energy is fundamental to our global society. It is only through the availability of vast amounts of cheap energy - largely from fossil fuels - that the world population grew from less than 1 billion in 1800 to more than 7 billion in 2013. Most of that energy is used in the format of electricity, with most of that electricity generated through the burning of coal. As the world’s economy has grown over the past three decades - raising the quality of life in India, China and many other countries - the need has become all the more urgent to increase the available energy for industry, transportation, for heating and cooling, for personal use and so on. Just before the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, this soaring demand resulted in drastic increases in the prices of the most conventional sources of energy. In addition, during the past several decades concerns have emerged that society’s overwhelming decency on fossil fuel is driving other kinds of change: growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) and increases in average global temperatures. If left unchecked, most scientists now believe that increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will alter the global climate by end of this century, with sweeping impacts on societies across the globe. As a result, there is great interesting in finding new, more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy supplies. Of the non-fossil fuel alternatives that exist - hydroelectric power, nuclear power, wind power, wave energy and others - one of the most accessible and intuitively attractive is solar power. However, despite significant advances in performance, reduction in cost and dramatic growth in the total deployed capacity in recent years, ground-based solar power remains largely a niche technology, providing only a small portion of society’s energy needs. Fortunately, there is a promising alternative to  conventional solar-based power systems, albeit one that relatively unknown: Space Solar Power.


Who will take these actions?

Entrepreneurs and Governments.


Where will these actions be taken?

All Countries


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

During the past several decades concerns have emerged that society’s overwhelming dependency on fossil fuel is driving other kinds of change: growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. If left unchecked, most scientists now believe that increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will alter the global climate by end of this century, with sweeping impacts on societies across the globe. As a result, there is great interesting in finding new, more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy supplies. Of the non-fossil fuel alternatives that exist - hydroelectric power, nuclear power, wind power, wave energy and others - one of the most accessible and intuitively attractive is solar power. Ground-based solar power remains largely a niche technology, providing only a small portion of society’s energy needs. Fortunately, there is a promising alternative to conventional solar-based power systems: Space Solar Power.


What are other key benefits?

The soaring demand resulted in drastic increases in the prices of the most conventional sources of energy and driving other kinds of change: growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. If left unchecked, most scientists now believe that increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will alter the global climate by end of this century. As a result, there is great interesting in finding new, more sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy supplies. Of the non-fossil fuel alternatives that exist - hydroelectric power, nuclear power, wind power, wave energy and others - one of the most accessible and intuitively attractive is solar power. Ground-based solar power remains largely a niche technology, providing only a small portion of society’s energy needs. Fortunately, there is a promising alternative to  conventional solar-based power systems, albeit one that relatively unknown: Space Solar Power.


What are the proposal’s costs?

Expensive and challenging project.


Time line

5-10 years


Related proposals

https://spacesolarelectricity.wordpress.com

http://www.nss.org/settlement/ssp

 


References

https://spacesolarelectricity.wordpress.com

http://www.nss.org/settlement/ssp