Engineers from Shimizu Corporation in Japan, an architecture and engineering company, have been thinking big, REALLY big about the development of solar power. In a plan they say would help to shift the world from the current economical use of limited energy resources to the unlimited use of renewable energy, they have come up with a plan to use the Moon for a giant solar power station.
The plan involves of a massive “Luna Ring”, which would consist of a 6,800 mile-long belt of solar panels around the the moon. Although very expensive to build (think of those transport costs alone!), the solar belt would have the advantage of not being impacted by Earth’s clouds and weather.
In a similar way to another ambitious space-based solar power plan from Japan (see our recent post Japan Plans To Generate Solar Power In Space, And Send It To Earth), the power would be beamed back to receiving stations on Earth via microwaves or lasers.
This lunar solar power station would apparently be able to generate 13,000 terawatts of continuous clean power. As an indication of just how much that is, the United States generated just over 4,000 terawatts of power during the whole of 2011.
The company envisages that most of the work on the Moon would be carried out by robots, with humans in supervisory roles only. Do you think it’s a good idea to try and put a giant solar power station on the Moon like this? We are interested to know your thoughts.