Wired: A Bold Plan to Beam Solar Energy Down From Space

The European Space Agency recently announced a new exploratory program called Solaris, which aims to figure out if it is technologically and economically feasible to launch solar structures into orbit, use them to harness the sun’s power, and transmit energy to the ground.

If this concept comes to fruition, by sometime in the 2030s Solaris could begin providing always-on space-based solar power. Eventually, it could make up 10 to 15 percent of Europe’s energy use, playing a role in the European Union’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “We’re thinking about the climate crisis and the need to find solutions. What more could space do to help mitigate climate change—not just monitor it from above, as we’ve been doing for the past few decades?” asks Sanjay Vijendran, who heads the initiative and plays a leading role in the agency’s Mars program as well.

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