A British company called Orbital Power Corporation, Ltd. has developed a new architecture for supplying space-based solar power to Earth.

Using microwave beams to send solar energy to Earth is an old idea. Dr. Peter Glaser proposed building Solar Power Satellites back in 1968. Since then, the concept has remain on the shelf, despite numerous studies by NASA, the Department of Energy, and the Space Studies Institute, among others. One of the main holdups has been the enormous startup cost. Achieving the desired power levels requires very large collector surfaces. In 1995-1996, the NASA “Fresh Look” study examined a SolarDisc concept that would be 3 to 3.5 miles in diameter. Because the Solar Power Satellites are so large, the upfront costs are equally large. The Fresh Look study estimated $30 billion for the SolarDisc concept.

Read more: A New Architecture for Space Solar Power — Citizens in Space.

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