[ExI] Power satellites

painlord2k at libero.it painlord2k at libero.it
Sun Apr 26 22:13:44 UTC 2009

Il 25/04/2009 18.29, BillK ha scritto:

> But the main thing I don't like is the timescale of 15 to 50 years.

The problem of the people in western world is the time.
The want it all, the want it now.
The electrification of the US or Europe, not to say Japan, China, Russia 
and many other places required decades. It could be argued that it never 
was completed.
This is the same for the SPS.
The project start with a pilot plant (one small SPS, one rectenna field) 
then you have experience of the problems, what work, what don't, what is 
cheap, what is not. Then apply the know-how developed and build another.
If you want government help, the government could offer a reward for the 
first power plant able to feed 1 MW to the grid, then to the first able 
to feed 10 MW, 100 MW and so on. The reward could be a sum of money, a 
tax break, no tax for a 10 years period, etc.

> How can you guarantee funding and political will for a project like that?

This is because the SPS must be a private venture aimed to maximize 
profits. Future profits guarantee funding and will.

> PV cells are improving month by month, becoming cheaper and more efficient.

They could be good for distributed generation, not for base load generation.

> By 15 years time, I would expect every building to be off the grid,
> using spray on PV cells. And who knows what other energy improvements
> will come along in that time period.

You anyway need power for that nasty things like foundries, chemical 
industries and so on. The homes are not the centre of the universe.

> By the time it gets half built, people will be wondering whether they
> should be spending all this money on a project that is looking as
> though it might not be needed after all.

This is because it need to be a commercial venture:
if there is no profit, the owner will find other uses or will scrap the 
project, because it is his money. The politicos would not stop the waste 
because it is not their money.


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