I received Thomas L. Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded for Christmas. I am about half way through it and one particular paragraph prompted me to post the following comment on his website under the topic Making Clean Energy Work:
I am on pages 186-187 of Hot, Flat and Crowded in the section Clean Electrons. Your most powerful paragraph in the book so far begins with the sentence “No single solution would defuse more of the Energy-Climate Era’s problems at once than the invention of a source of abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons.” You go on to list many of the currently intractable global problems that a source of abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons would solve. In the next paragraph, you state that “no one has yet come up with a source of electrons that meets all four criteria: abundant, clean, reliable and cheap.”
As a self-appointed advocate, I believe that space-based solar power has the potential to meet all four of the criteria you set out. Space-based solar power is the 24/7/365 collection of solar power by satellites in geosynchronous orbit which convert and beam it to receiving antennas (rectennas) anywhere on the face of the planet to be distributed to end users by either the existing electrical grid or by wireless power transmission. On a large enough scale, such a system would give humankind direct access to unlimited clean, reliable and ultimately cheap electrons.
The idea of space-based solar power, patented by Dr. Peter Glaser in the 1960’s, was last reviewed in depth in a 2007 study sponsored by the Pentagon’s National Security Space Office. Most recently, the Space Frontier Foundation submitted a white paper to the Obama Transition Team which was subsequently posted by them for public comment.
Here are some sources where you and your readers can learn more about the potential game-changing technology of space-based solar power:
Space Based Solar Power – a public discussion
Citizens for Space Based Solar Power
Space Solar Power (SSP) – A Solution for Energy Independence & Climate Change – (Obama Transition Team website)
I invite you and your readers to learn more about Space Based Solar Power and, if you reach the same conclusions about its tremendous potential that I have, become advocates to have this potentially game-changing technology added to America’s system of solutions for a clean energy future for the entire planet.
Rob Mahan: Citizens for Space Based Solar Power