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Welcome to the Sustainable Frome discussion forum, aiming to discuss a wide range of issues to enable Frome (Somerset, UK) to become a more sustainable town.

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 SPACE BASED SOLAR POWER, Long term alternative to Nuclear Power?
Alex Malcolm
  Posted: Dec 5 2009, 04:15 PM

Super Advanced Member

Group: Admin
Posts: 182
Member No.: 66
Joined: 24-May 07

In order to reduce carbon emissions and become self-sufficient with secure energy supplies for the future, alternative sources of energy will be high on Somersetís list of priorities.

Having regard for all the controversy and public feeling against nuclear energy that has the potential for a huge impact on public well-being and the environment, one long term alternative that few people have looked at closely is Space Based Solar Power (SBSP).

I believe Professor David MacKay (now principal energy advisor to the Government) is reviewing the feasibility of this technology. SBSP (video) has little if any environmental impact.

In the wake of massive Government spending cutbacks due to rising unsustainable public debt and reduced tax revenues, Somerset has a number of high profile aero-space companies likely to be hard hit by military spending cutbacks that could take advantage of this new technology and turn it into a massive growth industry in partnership with our energy suppliers.

This would also be a massive opportunity for our new UK Space Agency to provide some much needed strategic direction and leadership for what has to be one of the most important development opportunities of the century for British industry. Our future energy security may depend on this.

This could create enormous local demand for high skill jobs while farming will provide unprecedented future demand for low skill jobs as we inevitably wean ourselves from fossil fuel dependent agriculture.

While we are entering a period of great turmoil, SBSP promises to open up new challenges and great opportunities for those with the foresight and imagination to take the initiative. Sir Richard Branson and others are working hard to resolve space launch costs and open up space to private enterprise.

Should we be investing in new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point that could be under water in the next 20-50 years as sea levels rise due to Climate Change or should we be focusing on local grid terrestrial and space based renewable energy?

The Nuclear and National Grid industries would rather we invest in their creaking centralised power plants and older technologies bolstered by extremely capital intensive new smart grid technology that will suck capital away from local small scale renewable energy projects! However, the long term solution of SBSP can bypass the National Grid and transmit energy directly to wherever it is needed as well as to more local grids.

SBSP proof of concept projects should be operational by 2016.

For more information view this TEDx Video on Space Energy and this one by NASA experts or...

Google - Space Based Solar Power - to become informed!


This post has been edited by Alex Malcolm on May 4 2010, 08:17 AM
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