JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, wants to compete with the United States’ PG&E project for collecting solar power from outer space and beam it on Earth through clusters of lasers and microwaves.
The space-based solar panels would produce 1 gigawatt of electricity by 2030, and their aim is to keep the costs at one sixth of what Japan currently pays for electricity. Solar power in space is at least five times stronger than it is on Earth, so huge state-of-the-art solar panels would capture a lot more energy than they would do on Earth.
The power would be received via gigantic parabolic antennae, that will probably be located in remote restricted areas at sea or on dam reservoirs, as AFP reports. The energy would then be transported to the land via cables.
Safety concerns arise as a response to this project, since the lasers could slice any bird or aircraft passing through them. Let’s not think of the situation when fish would have microwaved-baked birds falling from the sky (ok, maybe carbonized ones). Someone proposed making this technology available to receive at individual homes. Imagine how that would look.