BBC News: ESA Solaris plan and Space Solar leading the UK initiative

Space chiefs are to investigate whether electricity could be beamed wirelessly from orbit into millions of homes.

The European Space Agency will this week likely approve a three-year study to see if having huge solar farms in space could work and be cost effective.

The eventual aim is to have giant satellites in orbit, each able to generate the same amount of electricity as a power station.

Research ministers will consider the idea at a Paris meeting on Tuesday.

While several organisations and other space agencies have looked into the idea, the so-called Solaris initiative would be the first to lay the ground for a practical plan to develop a space-based renewable energy generation system.

The programme is one of a number of proposals being considered by ministers at ESA’s triennial council, which will decide the budget for the next phase of the space agency’s plans for space exploration, environmental monitoring, and communications.

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