Japan eyes space-based solar energy project to replace nuclear plants

By Staff Reporter

May 05, 2014 08:15 AM EDT

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has submitted a new proposal outlining a plan that would provide an alternative energy solution for the country. The plan involves building a solar energy farm in space, according to VentureBeat.

JAXA researcher Susumu Sasaki described the project on IEEE Spectrum: "It would be difficult and expensive, but the payoff would be immense, and not just in economic terms... If humanity truly embraces space-based solar power, a ring of satellites in orbit could provide nearly unlimited energy, ending the biggest conflicts over Earth's energy resources. As we place more of the machinery of daily life in space, we'll begin to create a prosperous and peaceful civilization beyond Earth's surface."

The said proposal would involve commercialization of the space-based solar energy plant by building a series of platforms on the ground and in space. These platforms would gather light energy and convert it into electricity. JAXA estimates the project can be done by 2030 if they can come up with a functional model by 2020, the report explained.

The strategy would help the country replace many nuclear power plants that have posed a danger to its citizens after massive earthquakes shook Japan, VentureBeat added.

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