Saudi Arabia is in talks to use Britain’s plan to use solar energy in space.
A pioneering British plan to capture solar energy in space and beam it to Earth 24 hours a day is receiving financial backing from Saudi Arabia.
The project, which is being implemented by the British company Space Solar Ltd, involves placing solar panels in Earth orbit, which are assembled by robots to convert electricity into high-frequency radio waves that propagate to the Earth’s surface.
All satellite panels will be about a mile wide and weigh 2,000 tons. On Earth, a few miles wide array antenna, crammed between the poles, will convert the waves into electricity.
Placing solar panels on a satellite solves the problem that solar panels on the ground face – they can still capture sunlight at night and in any weather.
The UK has indicated its desire to partner with Saudi Arabia on a project that could collect transmitted energy from the North Sea. The idea of collecting electricity from solar panels in space and sending it back to Earth is over a century old. This has not yet become a reality, although there is a race between countries working on similar projects, including China, the US and Japan.
And Space Solar Ltd. announced it was working with Neom, a new Saudi city set to cost £408 billion to build in the desert.
It is designed to include towns, cities, sports, tourism and entertainment centers.
According to The Times, NEOM, along with the UK government, has allocated £3.5 million to develop the project.
However, the total cost of the project will be much higher – in the tens of billions of pounds, according to a feasibility study commissioned by the UK government by Frazer-Nash, a consulting firm that has estimated that the solar space project could be completed by 2040.
Business Minister Grant Shapps said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on an ambitious path to modernize its economy and society, which offers a range of opportunities for British companies to flourish and export British expertise that can provide global access to renewable energy. including space solar energy.
He praised the desert kingdom as “open to business with very big aspirations.”
“There needs to be a real partnership that can have a significant impact on the future of zero-energy energy security and really help create a new, era-defining source of energy,” said Sam Adlin, co-CEO of Space Solar.
Space Solar states that the energy beam will not pose a risk to aircraft, satellites, or wildlife, and cannot be used to create a “death ray” in the FAQs on its website.
Source: Daily Mail