Moosaie, S. (2016). Comparing space based and earth based solar power : an analysis of technological, energetic, environmental and economic aspects [Master Thesis, Technische Universität Wien]. reposiTUm. https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2016.40921
Earth Based Solar Power; EBSP; Space Based Solar Power; SBSP; Space debris
Worldwide energy demand has continuously increased due to a growing population, a change in living standards and etc. Increased energy demand causes a considerable use of fossil sources and, as a result, global environmental change. The world today has to face many problems such as air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emission, global warming and a pending environmental crises, which must not be ignored. Furthermore, fossil sources are limited and not clean. That is why it is necessary to use alternative energy sources which are reliable, renewable, sustainable and clean. According to the scientists, sun is the largest available potential energy source. However, the amount of sun energy we can receive and use on earth is only one part of the high potential sun energy output. For many years scientists have been researching the possibility of using the sun power for generating electric energy directly in the space, where solar energy is much greater than the solar energy we receive on earth. The objective is to transmit this energy to the earth wirelessly via laser or microwave and to convert it back to electrical energy. Moreover, many studies have been made on wireless transmission techniques. Today, solar energy is also used on the Spacecraft. It seems that the promising technology will make it possible to use the great amount of solar energy for billions of years and solve the future energy crisis on our planet while keeping the environment clean. In recent years space based solar power has become a more and more interesting topic as it seems to be a sustainable energy solution and economically valuable. Although space based solar energy has a high potential and is environmental friendly, according to experts it is still has to face many challenges and key barriers have to be overcome in order to approach the market. This paper aims to assess the current status and the future perspectives of the Space Based Solar Power (SBSP), in comparison to the Earth Based Solar Power (EBSP), considering the technological, energetic, environmental and economic aspects of both technologies. The objective of this research and the comparison between both systems is to review and analyse existing information on the potentially best use of solar energy.