China Builds Solar Power Station In Space

Solar power
The sun rises behind a chimney in Minsk, Belarus, March 4, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)

Reports are circulating that China plans to build the world's first solar power station in space to provide inexhaustible clean energy. The article in the Sydney Morning Herald said that researchers at the China Academy of Space Technology are already testing solar technology and they intend to build the station by 2050.

Kirsty Needham, a China correspondent, cited China's Science and Technology Daily as the source of the story which ran on its newspaper's front page. The Science and Technology Daily is the Ministry of Science and Technology's official newspaper.

According to the story, Pang Zhihao, a researcher in the China Academy of Space Technology, said that the technology would provide a renewable source of clean energy for humans that have no interference from the atmosphere, cloud cover or periods of night time.

He also said that the space station could supply energy 99 percent of the time which is six-times stronger that the solar farms on Earth. Currently, the space agency is building an experimental early model at a test site in the city of Chongqing. They will continue the tests over the next 10 years to reach their goal of building the station by 2030.

Governments and businesses around the world struggle to find a solution to provide energy to the continuously increasing population in every nation. The business sector, along with the government, started to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. Apple started to switch 100 percent renewable energy in use in its stores, offices, and data centers since last year. Solar energy is an important element in Apple's move. In Cupertino, USA, a rooftop solar panel installation covered Apple's distinctive ring-shaped headquarters. Earlier this week, Dezeen initiated a panel talk at Dutch Design Week where they called for "more science fiction" in their response to the threat of climate change and urged designers and policymakers to "keep dreaming big".

Space-based solar power technology has been discussed for decades and NASA has explored its development. The Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan is also on a quest to take the technology into space as they extend their efforts on its development. The biggest problem faced by the developers is on how the energy would be transmitted back to earth. According to reports, researchers in China are said to be developing a transmission technology that might utilize a microwave or laser beam for the task. The wave or beam will be received on Earth and convert them to electrical energy to be placed into the grid.

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