In Focus: Solar From Space 0


We shall draw solar energy from space, says association of Indian scientists

WHILE FESTIVE rabies is coursing through the veins of the world’s Christian nations, the Indian Science Congress Association has gathered to find solutions to pressing matters such as energy. The ISCA event is dedicated to progressive thought, and is attended by science junkets from all corners of India. We need more energy than our planet can produce and so the answer, says the ISCA, lies ‘out there’.

Outer space. Former ISCA President Dr Abdul Kalam says, “There is a growing possibility to harness energy from space through space-based power systems. Space-based solar power has several advantages over the traditional terrestrial-based solar plants, and India can play a pivotal role in this field.”

According to a Times of India article, the crucial technology would be nano batteries that could transmit energy back down to Earth from space. Without these batteries we would have to build one very long extension cord.

There are reasons for going to space in order to harvest sunlight which, after all, shines down on Earth too. Extraterrestrial solar light is said to be 1.4 time more potent than the earthly sunlight we get down here, and could generate power every hour of the day. Overall this would make ‘space solar’, or ‘E.T. PV’, around four times as efficient as traditional panels on Earthling rooftops.

ISCA spokesperson Dr Ramasami claims Indian scientific research is enjoying a research, after a twenty year decline between 1981 and 2001. In the past year India signed agreements of mutual interest with China over sustainable energy, as part of an annual reaffirmation of their partnership on development and urbanisation. Next year the emphasis will be on high speed rail.

And earlier this Christmas season, India confirmed a $50m solar PV and solar thermal initiative named SERIIUS (Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States). Four months prior to this agreement, 680 million Indians suffered a power blackout. India has ambitions, and challenges, on an epic scale.

For more information, I recommend searching the Times of India for news on ISCA, and the SERIIUS website for news on India’s agreement with the US.

About the author:

David Thomas writes about cleantech, government policy and energy efficiency for The Eco Experts. You can speak to him @theecoexperts

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