Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Space Solar Power at 3 Quarks Daily

A link to Taylor Dinerman's article 'Space solar power: why do we need it and what do we need to get it?' at 'The Space Review' was linked to at 3 Quarks Daily.

Which is all kinds of cool and put a little sunshine in my day. 3 Quarks is a blog where S. Abbas Raza writes
my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating.
I'd gotten the impression over the past month that while the site is interesting, mundane stuff like 'the future' was not within their scope. Glad to see that the topic on on Mr. Raza's radar.

And space solar power itself? That we need it is one of those 'well duh' things ...
Professor Nocera makes it clear that neither conservation nor wind, nuclear, hydro, or biomass energy sources are going to be able, even when taken together, to fill the demand for energy that any reasonable standard of living will require. China and India alone will need more energy than is produced today by the entire planet. Coal, oil, and gas could provide some of the answer but environmental and security reasons tend to rule out those alternatives. Even if one is skeptical of the whole anthropomorphic global warming theory, there are good reasons to want to minimize the use of oil and natural gas and to tread carefully when it comes to using coal as a primary energy source.

So his solution is to go for solar energy in a big way.
One problem. Solar power is not always convenient to obtain. For another we could really use the ground that would be occupied by solar arrays for other stuff. Houses, yes, but also reclaimed wilderness. Would you rather see a hundred thousand acres of restored prairie or the same space covered by solar collection arrays? Thought so. But only 62 miles away is nearly limitless room and sunshine undiluted by an inconvenient atmosphere.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.
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