According to Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology China is intending to build the world’s first solar-based power station in space to give “inexhaustible clean energy.”
They claimed that they were already testing the technology and intend to fabricate the station by 2050.
Xie Gengxin, Deputy Head of the Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Research Institute for Civil-Military Integration in Southwestern China, told the China Daily paper that a testing office in Chongqing's Bishan region is being built that will be utilized to test the theoretical suitability of a space-based solar power station.
The 33 acres of land test facility will create space transmission technologies while concentrating the impact of microwaves transmitted back to Earth on living creatures. The initial investment of 100 million yuan ($15 million) will be made by the Bishan district government and development could take as long as two years, yet once the operation begins, researchers and engineers will utilize tethered balloons equipped with solar panels boards to confirm microwave transmission technologies.
“We plan to launch four to six tethered balloons from the testing base and connect them with each other to set up a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. These balloons will collect sunlight and convert solar energy to microwave before beaming it back to Earth. Receiving stations on the ground will convert such microwaves to electricity and distribute it to a grid”, said Gengxin.
First proposed in 1968 by aerospace engineer Peter Glaser, the idea of a power-producing stage in geostationary orbit has been a mainstream thought among researchers, however, the progress of this project is very little because of technological and money financial obstacles. These thoughts may sound fantastical, however, the space agency of both China and Japan are taking the thoughts that were once simply the stuff of science fiction very seriously.
Plans to build up an orbital cluster of photo voltaic dishes were declared in Japan some time back and as per CNN, Beijing is vowing to contribute 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in sustainable power generation – solar, wind, hydro and nuclear – by 2020, indicating China's eagerness to put resources in advanced concept.