Solar energy has for a long time been the staple of humanity’s clean energy armory. We have strewn millions of the sunlight-harvesting panels throughout numerous solar fields, as well as many people use the rectangles to power their homes. However, there is a catch to this fantastic power source. At night, solar panels are unable to collect energy. They require as much sunshine as possible to function at their best. So, in order to maximize the efficacy of these sun catchers, scientists are considering sending them to a region where the sun cannot set: space.
If a lot of solar panels were launched into space, they could theoretically soak up the sun including on the foggiest days as well as darkest nights, storing a massive quantity of energy. If that electricity could be electronically transmitted to Earth, the planet could breathe in renewable, green energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our carbon footprint would be greatly reduced as a result of this.
The development of space-centered solar power can be more vital than ever in the face of a mounting climate problem. The health of the environment is currently in the spotlight as global leaders convene in Glasgow, Scotland, for COP26 summit, dubbed the “world’s best final chance” to address the situation.
CNET Science highlights a few futuristic solutions aimed at assisting governments in reducing human-caused carbon emissions. Although next-generation technology such as space-based solar power won’t solve our climate concerns (we still need to quickly decarbonize existing energy infrastructure), green innovation could help us meet the Paris Agreement’s goals: By the close of the century, keep global warming far below the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). An endless supply of the renewable energy from the sun could be able to assist us in this endeavor.
Space solar power has occupied the imaginations of science fiction fans as well as scientists for decades. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian scientist and mathematician, was continually churning out a stream of future ideas anticipating human technology beyond Earth in the early 1900s. He’s in charge of inventing stuff such as steerable rockets, space elevators, and, yes, space solar power.
International scientists have been attempting to enable Tsiolkovsky’s sci-fi fantasy a reality since Bell Labs built the very first concrete “solar panel” in the 1950s. The Space Solar Power Project is being led by a group from California Institute of Technology, which includes Japanese experts, the US military, and a group from California Institute of Technology. “Space solar power was intensively researched in the late 1960s and 1970s, sort of during the heyday of Apollo program,” stated Michael Kelzenberg, the project’s principal research scientist.