Japan to operate solar energy station in outer space

Space Solar Power System

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has big plans: It wants to conquer outer space to generate solar energy by 2030. The idea is to collect solar power in space and beam it down to earth, in the form of lasers or microwaves. The so-called Space Solar Power System project is led by big corporations such as Mitsubishi, NEC, Fujitsu und Sharp.

As a first step, JAXA wants to deploy photovoltaic elements in outer space where they will be assembled in the form of dishes several square kilometers in size. Solar energy in space is about five times stronger than on earth, and the solar enery will be transformed into power in space.

Space Solar Power System_2

The dishes are supposed to zap the lasers and microwaves to gigantic parabolic antennae located on earth, probably in remote areas such as dam reservoirs, for example. JAXA wants to begin conducting feasibility tests with a 100-kW demo system before eventually boosting that number to 1 Gigawatt.