Technology

This is Europe’s plan to harness solar power from space and tackle the energy crisis

European Space Agency (ESA) wants to set up prevent energy crisis In this way, the intergovernmental agency will advance space-based solar power plants, thanks to a development program called ‘Solaris’.

This exploratory step includes feasibility studies, research activities, technology development and regulatory analysis of space-based solar power. ESA contributes to Europe’s energy needs,

agency will adopt space based solar energy (SBSP) for Harnessing solar energy from satellites in geostationary orbit For the purpose of converting it into low-density microwaves that would be transmitted to receiving stations on Earth.

These satellites will collect sunlight 24 hours a day, seven days a week., Bear in mind that they would have to be large, require technological advances, and research to confirm the moderate effects of low-power microwaves on people’s health.

Sanjay Vijendran (ESA lead for the SOLARIS proposal) explains, ‚ÄúSpace solar power offers innovative features, such as baseload power that actually complements rather than competes with intermittent sources such as land-based solar power and In this sense, they can offer a alternative to nuclear power In the future, that’s where studies show that a space-based solution becomes surprisingly competitive.”

program will help Europe make a final decision in 2025 On the potential development of space-based solar energy with a focus on contributing to the decarbonization of terrestrial energy.



Technologies Used in SOLARIS

ESA calls on the European tech industry to implement space-based solar power, Furthermore, since the SBSP is a broadly interdisciplinary field, it has a variety of focus points photovoltaic panels and solar cells unless advanced propulsion system,

On the other hand, the Belgian Space Application Services is investigating the robotic assembly hardware in place of SBSP stations, while the Swiss company Astrostrom takes another approach to harness the Sun’s energy from the Moon.

potential benefits

According to ESA, The project will require novel technological developmentsBut in general it is based on existing technical principles and known physics in which a Clean energy source as the end result.

To give one example, a single solar power satellite of the planned scale would generate around 2 GW to supply electricity to over a million homes as well as provide environmental and economic benefits to Europe.

TNW indicates that “notably, by 2040, SBSP could Contribute to sustainable power generation And at competitive prices for European families and businesses in two different ways”:

  • First, being a load-based energy source, it is comparable to equivalent fossil fuel sources and can reduce your environmental footprint,
  • second, it could complement Renewable energy systems, it will provide stability and reduce the need for large-scale storage solutions.
Recreation of energy coming down to earth.
Recreation of energy coming down to earth.
ESA

It is already running.

What are the complications?

ESA explains on the FAQ blog that the project is complex and that “previous SBSP studies have not encountered major technical constraints, but have restricted challenges in making the concept economically viable. high launch costs and engineering challenges”,

In addition, the intergovernmental agency states that “the substantial reduction in both launch costs and development costs of space hardware over the past decade has justified thorough re-evaluation of feasibility of concept”.

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