Thursday, June 10, 2010

A likely project in the coming future

moon power stationThe Japanese firm Shimizu has unraveled an ambitious plan for the mid-term future. Its goal is no less then meeting the energy needs of our planet with a clean and daring new way that seams to come straight out of science fiction. The plan is to use the moon as a giant solar station. If so, the moon will no longer look the same when we gaze at it from the earth, rather we will see the familiar white body surrounded by a silver ring.

The plan is to build a giant ring all around the moon’s equator made up of solar panels. No atmosphere on the moon means not having bad weather influencing power output. Furthermore being at times closer to the sun and not having any atmosphere means a stronger concentration of photons coming from the sun.

The shear size off the ring will in itself be another factor. As the surface of the moon isn’t used for other purposes like here on earth, we would be free to have an extensive amount of solar cells.

solar panel

However in case you were wondering, we are beyond having the need of high voltage cables going between the moon and the earth, it would be too messy anyways. Power collected on the moon would be sent back to earth by concentrated laser or microwave beams. The collected power would be focused to power giant laser canons that would target specific receptors on earth capable of capturing the photons from the laser beam and reconverting it into electricity.

Basically we have all the necessary technology developed here today to put a plan such as this one into action. On the other hand the costs of such an operation are beyond anything we are willing to spend today. The resources necessary would be overwhelming for any one country to execute.

So Shimizu’s plan may not be impossible, but perhaps far too expensive for the moment. A more efficient way of getting materials into space would be a first step as the main cost would be the transport of the solar panels. Next there would have to be a motive other then humanity’s advancement and clean energy. Motives such as profit or political motivation behind the project as this phenomenal task would be beyond any single organization.

moon colony

So we still are not there yet but this is one project that may be possible in the future to come. It would even be safe to estimate it as possible before the end of the century. Hopefully by then we will have developed the means of achieving more monumental projects such as this one.

By this time living on the moon will become a prerequisite as a ring of solar panels and energy facilities won’t manage themselves. This project may very well be the beginning of cities on the moon as the manual resources for upkeep and management would be on a large scale.