The idea of orbiting solar arrays beaming power to Earth has been around since 1968. In 1971, Peter Glaser patented a microwave-based power transmission technology. Since then, most of the research has centered around that same problem of wireless transmission. Initial costs associated with launching solar arrays into orbit have also been problematic, to say the least.
Now, in early 2010, the European space company Astrium is looking for a partner to get a demonstration project off the ground.
The advantages of space-based solar over terrestrial solar are numerous and large. Earth based solar [...]