The European Space Agency (ESA) is currently planning to push forward a research and development plan, which will explore the possibilities of producing solar power in space and beaming it back down to earth. The research would expand upon current findings and concepts that the agency have developed.
For the project, both the ESA and Airbus have partnered together to develop the space-based solar farm. It is planned that it will orbit 36,000km above the earth and will span over 2km in length, being able to generate enough energy to power over 1 million homes.
The space-based solar farm would work by harvesting sunlight and converting it into low-power density microwaves. These microwaves would them safely beam down to receiver stations on earth, which would then use the energy to meet the necessary demand.
Such an advancement would allow governments to become less reliant on fossil fuels, helping them to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it would also allow for the harvesting of green energy on a 24/7 basis, meaning energy may always be available when needed.
Back down on earth, solar panels are continually being installed all around the world, including in Europe and the USA. In Europe, solar panels have even become mandatory on all new commercial and residential buildings, helping to push forward the continents green energy drive.