CNN's Laura Paddison is reporting on space based solar technology.
Ali Hajimiri, a Caltech electrical engineering professor, has been researching the concept of harvesting solar energy in space and beaming it down to Earth. Initially skeptical, Hajimiri now highlights the potential benefits of space-based solar, noting its capacity to generate eight times more power than Earth-based solar systems. This year, his team launched Maple, a space solar prototype, successfully transferring energy wirelessly in space and even beaming a small, detectable amount of energy back to Earth. While the idea of space-based solar, dating back to a 1941 Isaac Asimov story, is not new, recent technological advancements and lower satellite launch costs are making it more feasible. Space solar involves large satellites capturing the sun's energy and converting it into microwaves, which are then beamed to Earth and converted into electricity. Despite challenges like constructing massive structures in space and public skepticism, experts see potential in space-based solar to provide constant, clean energy, and fill gaps in renewable energy supply on Earth. However, some critics question its cost-effectiveness and flexibility compared to terrestrial renewables.
(This article was written with assitance from ChatGPT)