A study has found that space-based solar power, which is generated by huge satellites in geostationary orbit pinging signals back down to Earth, could rake in huge profits and help the world to wean itself off Russian oil and gas. It comes as both Britain and Europe have been scrambling to wean themselves of Russia’s hydrocarbons as it continues to batter Ukraine and cut Europe’s gas, sending international prices soaring.
While Britain only got four percent of its gas from Russia last year, UK households have still felt the knock-on impacts of soaring wholesale gas costs, which are part of an integrated market.
Now, the energy price cap will rise above £3,500 in October, threatening to push millions of families into fuel poverty.
But with an alternative power source beaming down from space, households could swerve the full extent of a future energy crisis.
Frazer-Nash Consultancy’s cost-benefit report found this “alternative energy solution” could bring a huge relief to consumers who have been subject to soaring energy bills at the mercy of Putin’s gas cuts and the war in Ukraine.
Sam White, the Group Leader for Frazer-Nash’s Techno-Economic Assessment, who led the study, said: “Space-based solar power is the concept of collecting solar energy in space, using very large satellites in geostationary earth orbit.
“The subsequent electricity in space is then converted to microwaves and beamed to a fixed point on Earth via wireless power transmission, where the electricity is generated by a large rectenna.
“A single satellite could provide between 1 GW and 2 GW of power.
“As electricity prices continue to rise, a Europe-wide space-based solar power programme could deliver over €180billion (£155billion) in benefits to Europe, and reduce reliance on the import of fossil fuels.
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By the mid-2040s, the power generated from the space station could reach 30GW, accounting for up to 30 percent of the UK’s electricity demand.
Martin Soltau from Frazer-Nash, who is also a Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative, told Express.co.uk back in March: “Once in operation, the high yield, low cost of electricity and its favourable characteristics providing both baseload and flexible generation, will make SBSP a highly profitable revenue source for the operating companies, and offering the potential of a healthy return to investors, including the Government.
“At least 143,000 job-years will be supported by a UK-based SBSP system, the equivalent of 5,700 high value jobs over a 25-year period.”