Solar power of the future will soon come from space, but won’t ‘save the entire planet’

To convince investors, Airbus and the ESA have calculated the production cost of this new energy by 2050. The demonstration is quickly made: we are at around 50 euros per megawatt hour, against more than 90 euros for nuclear power, while fossil fuels will have become unpayable.

Francesco Contino is a professor at the polytechnic school of UCLouvain and specializes in renewable energies. He welcomes the technological project but moderates the surrounding enthusiasm: “In space, we capture the sun’s energy twice as well as on Earth, but to transmit it and then transform it into electricity, we will lose the energy sent from the solar panels into space.”

And to add:We are also going to lose during the distribution of electricity, because when we are going to direct the ray of waves on Earth, we are not going to send it right in the middle of a city, but in remote places, for safety, and only then we will send it to consumers.”

And then, it will be necessary to build this space power station like a mechanic, piece by piece. Dozens or even hundreds of satellites will be needed, which will require a large capacity of launchers and in particular reusable launchers, which are yet to be produced.

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