Allianz Knowledge Website – Comment Posted

07/08/2008 Update: My comment was indeed published on the Allianz Knowledge website, below the article titled “Solar Energy Profile: Straight from the Source“.


This afternoon, I posted the following comment on the Allianz Knowledge website, in a section on Energy and CO2 at the end of an article titled “Solar Energy Profile: Straight from the Source“. A quote from the main website stated “Allianz Knowledge focuses on Climate Change, Microfinance, and Demographic Change. These topics are vital to our business – and to our world.” I found the website to have a great deal of information regarding the energy situation we face.

I will let you know if I hear back from the website’s editors and if they decide to publish some or all of my comment.

My Comment:

Our Sun is ultimately the source of all forms of energy we consume. Solar power is nearly a direct form, while fossil fuels took as long as 400 million years to collect and convert the Sun’s energy that they store.

I am a self-appointed advocate for the immediate and large scale development of space-based solar power. Large solar panels would be put into orbit, where they would receive intense sunlight 24/7/365. This energy would be beamed to receiving antennas (rectennas) on earth in the form of electromagnetic radiation at frequencies that would not be hampered by clouds or dust in the atmosphere. This energy would be converted to conventional electricity and connected directly to the existing power grid for distribution.

This will be a complex and expensive engineering project with many beneficial offshoots in terrestrial alternative energy and space exploration technologies. I have much more information and many links on a website titled Citizens for Space Based Solar Power (c-sbsp.org).

While this idea has existed since the 1960’s, it is very disappointing that space-based solar power isn’t at least a part of the worldwide conversation on moving our energy outlook towards a sustainable future.

Best regards,

Rob Mahan
Citizens for Space Based Solar Power

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Author: Rob Mahan

Author of An Irish Miracle, husband, father, and dog lover.

4 thoughts on “Allianz Knowledge Website – Comment Posted”

  1. Thank you for your response.

    I have been through the NSSO report thoroughly, and it appears that there is very little possibility of weaponization of the microwave beam itself. Besides, it seems unlikely that a private company developing SPS would weaponize it, let alone offer that weapon to the US government.
    There is a good in-depth discussion of that at http://www.permanent.com/p-sps-bm.htm

    My concern with Pop’s argument is where he says that we would have to protect these space resources. Arguably, we already take military action to protect our energy supplies in the middle east. It seems clear that the military would want to protect the system that would supply almost all of our energy in the future – SPS. This would require space weaponization, which could be extremely bad.

    Is there any discussion of this? I can’t find any, and would appreciate a further response.

    Also, I will post on the Space Solar Power, I tried to earlier and was unsuccessful. I also tried to email Mankins, but the only email I could get for him was at the sunsat energy council and I think it’s outdated.

  2. To Hsdebater 1:

    Let me applaud and thank you as a high school debater for taking on SBSP as part of your topic. Whether space-based solar power is ultimately adopted or not, I believe it should be part of the national conversation on a clean energy future for the entire planet. You are contributing to the effort to get the word out so all of the potential positives and negatives can be discussed and hopefully investigated in the bright light of day.

    I had not come across the article by Virgiliu Pop you referenced. It clearly expresses a major challenge area for space-based solar power, namely “unease about electromagnetic transmission environmental effects and incorrect perceptions of space weaponization”, as stated in the Space Based Solar Power As an Opportunity for Strategic Security – Phase 0 Architecture Feasibility Study released by the National Space Security Office in late 2007. If you have not already done so, I would suggest searching this document with the string “weapon” to find several references to the concerns and also recommended ways of dealing with them. The study reached a similar conclusion to Pop’s, which he stated in part as “… such safeguards can be implemented, and subsequent fears for their use should not be an impediment for the exploitation of the resources of the outer space …”.

    I would also recommend posting your question to the authors and supporters of the above mentioned study at Space Solar Power, a public discussion sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation. Colonel M.V. “Coyote” Smith, et al, will surely be interested in Pop’s paper and should be able to assist you in finding the additional answers you seek.

  3. I wasn’t sure where to put this
    there’s not “contact me” option on the site

    I am a high school debater preparing for next year’s topic, which is the one you have discussed elsewhere
    I have done a lot of research on SBSP, but haven’t found adequate answers to Virgiliu Pop’s argument that SBSP would necessitate space weaponization

    his article can be found here: http://www.geocities.com/virgiliu_pop/publications/security.pdf

    I would appreciate some discussion, or answers on the relationship between SPS and space militarization

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