Sunday, October 14, 2007

Solar Panels in the Sky

A fascinating 2001 worthy excerpt from LA Times: A new federal study released Wednesday concluded that continued increases in oil prices may finally make the generation of solar power in orbiteconomically competitive. The report urged the government to sponsor a demonstration of the technology to spur private investment in the concept.The orbiting power plants would reduce the nation's dependence on imported oil and help reduce the production of carbon dioxide that is contributing to global warming, according to the report led by the National Security Space Office, part of the Department of Defense. "This is a solution for all mankind," said former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, chairman of the spaceflight advocacy group, ShareSpace Foundation. Aldrin joined a group of other space advocacy organizations to unveil the report in Washington. The report estimated that in a single year, satellites in a continuously sunlit orbit could generate an amount of energy nearly equivalent to all of the energy available in the world's oil reserves. Mark Hopkins, senior vice president of the National Space Society, said space-based solar energy could generate so much power that it could transform the United States from an energy-importing country into an energy-exporting nation." It is the largest energy option which is available to us today in the sense that it would derive more power potentially than all of the other power sources combined," Hopkins said. "Our energy dependence and potential global warming problems are long-term problems. . . . So on a time scale, this solution matches up if we start investing now.",1,5761676.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

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