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March 06, 2013

Russia May Try to Build Solar Power Station to Send Energy Back to Earth



The mixed experience of many solar energy companies in the United States doesn’t appear to be preventing Russia from considering a new solar initiative.

Russia may build a solar power station which could collect energy in space and then send it back to Earth. Power could be converted to electricity in space and then beamed to power grids on Earth via lasers.

The proposal comes from the Russian Space Agency, Roskosmos.

It is noteworthy that Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) is also studying the use of solar energy. Officials want to see if it can be used for civilian aircraft.

Meanwhile, other nations and regions are considering similar proposals for solar in space. As of now, the United States, Japan, Europe and China plan to build solar power stations between 2030 and 2040.

“Russia should study this problem. If energy from space is cheaper, it is beneficial because Earth has been experiencing an energy deficit. There is a need to think of the future. We are building power plants on Earth, and if we can build a solar power station in space, we should not miss this opportunity,” scientist Alexander Zheleznyakov recently told Voice of Russia radio.

There are opponents to such plans, however. They cite the huge cost, lack of proper technology and environmental risks.

But there is a promising development in the solar sector coming from the state of Connecticut. New technology is under development at the University of Connecticut that may soon overcome some of the drawbacks found with current forms of solar energy. 

UConn engineering professor, Brian Willis, has developed a new fabrication technique that is far more efficient than silicon solar panels, currently used throughout the United States. It could lead to viable commercial applications, TMCnet reported.




Edited by Braden Becker


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