Friday, October 12, 2007

Solar From Space?

This takes me back to my days as a young hippy reading the Mother Earth News' special technology features, because similar plans have been touted as enviro-cure-alls for at least 30 years. The idea is you build a huge (1 kilometre wide) platform of solar panels in geosynchronous orbit, have it collect solar energy, and then beam this to the ground in the form of microwaves.

The main problem is cost, which will run into the 10s of billions, although that is not nearly as hefty a sum as the cost of some of the wilder geo-engineering proposals now under discussion. One apparent non-issue is the problem of accidentally incinerating anything that gets too close to the vast field of microwave collectors you need at ground level:

The peak density of the beam is likely to be significantly less than noon sunlight,
and at the edge of the rectenna equivalent to the leakage allowed and accepted by
hundreds of millions in their microwave ovens. This low energy density and choice
of wavelength also means that biological effects are likely extremely small, comparable
to the heating one might feel if sitting some distance from a campfire.

Meanwhile, hopefully later today, I'll take a look at some of the actions taking place within the Canadian business community in response to climate change.

16 comments:

Al Gore lied and got really, really rich said...

meanwhile, in other news about the silly notion that mankind controls climate

As media in America fall all over themselves with glee at the thought of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Wednesday's findings by a British judge that Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" contained nine material falsehoods has prompted a request to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to strip the movie's producers of the Oscars they received in February for "Best Documentary."

How delicious.

Mother nature agrees

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea. We should immediately cut all funding to social services, arts, CBC, and every other bleeding heart victim science organization and redirect it to SAVING THE PLANET! Who could possibly complain about that?

Abdul-Rahim said...

Hydro power is the way to go!

Ti-Guy said...

How delicious.

Mother nature agrees


I get creepy pedophile vibes from people who talk like this.

Ti-Guy said...

Hydro power is the way to go!

In Ontario, there really isn't much left to develop that could drastically increase the production of hydro-electricity, unless we flood the Sudbury basin or the Agawa Canyon or something.

Too bad South-Western Ontario is so flat...

Anonymous said...

So, in other words, we're ADDING to the solar flux energy load on the planet? This will warm the earth up even more, you know, as electricity is always converted into heat energy.

richard said...

BCL: were there really any Cdn hippies in NB?

Anonymous said...

"The main problem is cost, which will run into the 10s of billions..."

Wait a minute...how much has the Iraq War cost so far? How much has the War on Drugs cost?

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