Significant amount of power
A growth in global power demand in combination with political, economical and environmental issues make us re-think energy. A combination of new and exciting energy solutions will provide the answer to current energy concerns.
Energy from Space will provide significant, independent, constant and clean energy.
Why Energy from Space?
A typical Energy from Space plant will produce 1 GW of electric energy. This is enough to power 1 to 2 million homes, depending on the average consumption. For example, one plant can supply 15% of Singapore's or New York City's average electricity demand.
The same amount of power is produced by current large-scale coal, gas, oil and nuclear plants. Energy from Space can supplement or replace these conventional energy plants.
Although the Energy from Space plants will share its orbit with numerous other man-made satellites, there is ample space for many plants. For example, Japan's ambition is to place 30 GW above Japan, resulting in 25% of Japan's total current power demand by 2060.
An Energy from Space system is placed in geostationary orbit. That means that it will always stay above the same location on Earth. Also, because of the high altitude, the power beam can be safely pointed to another location if needed. As such, multiple locations can be powered simultaneously.
This is particularly interesting for countries and hard-to-reach places that want to become more independent on the supply and price of fuels like oil, gas, coal and uranium.
Moreover, the power is also totally independent from wind, clouds, day and night. The sun always shines in space and the power beam is unobstructed by the atmosphere.
The energy required for an entire Energy from Space system, including manufacturing and placing it into orbit, is compensated within one year. Studies indicate it is safe for the atmosphere and will add an insignificant amount of extra heat to the Earth's environment.
The energy intensity on Earth coming from the system is maximally 1000 W/m², which is the same as the energy intensity of full summer sunlight. This energy is directed at the receiving ground station. Moreover, studies have shown that microwaves are non-ionizing, meaning that cells of organisms and humans are not damaged and only heat is produced. For extra safety, the receiving ground station will be placed offshore or on deserted land areas that are sufficiently away from regular human activity.
In space the Sun always shines. There are no clouds, dust and shifts in night and day. Solar energy received on a solar cell in space produces six to eight times more energy than a solar cell on Earth, continuously. Consequently, the energy received on Earth is independent and stable. Energy from Space systems can supply base power demands and complement terrestrial green energy technologies like solar, wind and hydro energy.
Only for about 75 minutes every spring and autumn, called the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, Energy from Space systems are in the Earth's shadow. As a result, the systems provide power more than 99.9% of the time and are out of sunlight on predictable times,
Clean and safe
Energy from Space
Advanced nat. gas
[km² for 1 GW]
The values display approximations and are meant to give a general indication of the differences.
- Price: production price averages based on prices in industrialized nations and 2012 fuel prices
- Land footprint: the operational footprint on land, based on usual surface mining for coal / usual subsurface extraction (i.e. negligible land use) and refineries for oil, gas and nuclear / used agricultural land and water basin for respectively biomass and hydro
- Lifecycle CO2: includes construction, operations, maintenance and decommissioning
- Lifetime: period from start full power production to decommissioning or major refurbishment
The table below gives an indication of the differences between a typical Energy from Space system and terrestrial conventional and renewable power pants.
Note that production prices of fossil fuel powered plants are expected to increase due to rising fuel prices, while energy prices of solar and wind are expected to decrease due to higher production rates.