Space Based Solar Power is Entirely Feasible

I am going to quote a forum post on this topic.  It does a good job summarizing what I have found out and my thoughts on the issue.  In it I was wondering how the government program of the Space Based Solar Network could be transferred to the private sector.


I have been ranting about this engineering idea recently because frankly it is a great idea. During the 70’s I believe engineers first conceptualized the Space Based Solar Network. What is exciting is it is completely feasible, and I just recently read a business plan on a design for such a network. It laid out the finances quite nicely, and with a safety net of double the required budget, the entire project would cost around 200 billion dollars.

First let me say this could solve our energy problem completely. With the expansion of developing countries like India and China, the world is projected to consume about 50TW (terawatts) of power. A Space Based Solar Network (SBSN) could provide up to 155TW of power. It could satisfy an expansion of energy consumption three times over! Plus, it could provide power at half the cost of fossil fuels at about 1-2 cents/kWh. This really is a no brainer economically because we could easily provide power demand across the world at a fraction of the cost.

Now the project wouldn’t have to be paid for all at once. In a span of about 20 years, we would have to front 10 billion dollars. (Consider the current Depart of Defense budget is about 526 billion) If we wanted to put the SBSN in half the time we would have to double the money at 20 billion which is completely possible. Of course, the better option would be the private sector building this project. This is exponentially more difficult but it is still feasible in the future. The cost will continually decrease while economic growth (hopefully) would eventually make this project feasible. However, if the government were to get involved directly this project could be enacted now. What I think would be the best option would to have the government build the SBSN and then transfer the network to private companies. Notice companies, not company. This would promote competition which would in theory increase the efficiency of the network. What is beautiful about the NASA design is that it is completely compartmentalized. Meaning not only is it easy to repair and construct, but you can completely scale the project to add more power if necessary. I am trying to work out a procedure to hand over network to the private sector. This is where I am open to ideas.

My initial idea doesn’t cut the bill, but I haven’t come up with any other way. We could divide the network into X amount of shares. The cost of the shares equal a little more than the total cost of the entire network so the government gets a profit. Multiple organizations in theory would purchase shares. The percentages of the entire share pool will correlate ownership to the network. This is the initial ownership of the network to the private sector.

This is so feasible it isn’t even funny. Keep in mind that the way the money flow works, is as long as banks are issuing out loans The Fed can loan money to the government at an inflationary rate. This is why every single department has a growth of funds per year. There has to be, because the expenditure of money through government programs expands the overall money supply which is absolutely necessary for economic growth. I honestly don’t have the numbers in front of me, but this entire project could be paid for outright by government deficit spending. The overall government debt does not matter, because if there was no debt there would be no money in the economy. If the government were to pay back The Fed, they are essentially destroying that money because it is going back to the banking sector.

Honestly, this is amazing. I can’t believe it. I am ranting about this because I am too excited about the possibilities. Here is the business plan that I read:

Henson, Keith H. “Beamed Energy and the Economics of Space Based Solar Power.” n.pag. Academic OneFile. Database. 4 Sep 2013.

Not to mention this would probably create jobs.

Do you guys have any other ideas on the transition of the network from the government to the private sector? What do you guys think of this idea?

This to me is extremely exciting.  We could solve our energy issues!  But knowing our system the fossil fuel companies and their lobbying interests will halt this program from launching.  This is another prime example of the failure of our system.  But I have hope that if enough people learn of this they will enact change relatively soon.  The world energy problem solved would free humanity to pursue other projects that will increase our quality of life.  I really hope this goes through.  I am definitely writing to my representatives in congress.


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