China is working on the idea of collecting solar energy right in space. Not just to equip space probes with solar panels, as it was done before, but to deploy real solar power plants that will transmit energy to Earth using microwaves or laser.
Collecting energy in space is a powerful idea, because it solves the issues of independence from changes of day and night, from weather conditions and energy absorption by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Nowadays, the Chinese Space Technology Academy is working on the creation of the first experimental space power plant. It will be located in orbit 36,000 km above the Earth. According to the plans, the creation of small-scale space stations is a plan for 2021-2025 and the launch of the power plant of 1MW will take place in 2030. After solving key issues – equipment delivery to orbit and optimal energy transfer, deploying space solar collectors will become our reality.