In an effort to take its renewable energy push to new heights, China is planning to build a solar power station in space, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
A solar power station orbiting the earth at a geosynchronous height of 36,000 km could tap the sun’s energy without interference from the atmosphere, or seasonal and night-time loss of solar rays, SMH cited Chinese media reports as saying.
According to the China’s Science and Technology Daily’s report, Beijing has started construction of an early experimental space power plant in the inland city of Chonqing.
China Academy of Space Technology Corporation’s researcher Pang Zhihao said that a space solar power station can pave the way for providing “an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans".
He said a solar power station in space could reliably supply energy 99 per cent of the time, six-fold the intensity of solar farms on earth.
According to the report, Chinese scientists initially plan on building and launching of small to medium-sized solar power stations to stratosphere in order to generate electricity, between 2021 and 2025. The next step for the scientists would be to establish a Megawatt-level space solar power station, which is scheduled for construction in 2030.
As per the report, the energy thus generated by the station would be transmitted to earth through microwave or laser beam.
However, China would have to overcome many technical challenges in order to become the first country to build a space solar power station with practical value.
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