The next energy frontier: A race for solar power from space?


According to a 2020 report by The Aerospace Corporation, China intends to become a “global leader” in developing solar power satellites, viewing their use as a “a strategic imperative to shift from fossil-based energy and foreign oil dependence.”

Japan, Russia and India also are pursuing development efforts but none as ambitious as that by Beijing, the reported noted.

In the past few years in the US, it is the military that re-invigorated government interest. After all, the US military has a huge financial stake in finding cheaper energy sources. DoD is the biggest single consumer of energy in the US, and the world’s single largest institutional consumer of petroleum, found a 2019 study by Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Public Affairs. Between 2001 and 2018, the military “has consistently consumed between 77 and 80 percent of all US government energy consumption,” the study said.

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