China is currently investing $35 billion of its hard-currency reserves in the development of energy-efficient green technology, and has become the world's leading producer of solar panels. In addition, China has aggressively moved into space by orbiting astronauts and by demonstrating a capability to destroy the satellites of other nations.
Over the past two years, Japan has committed $21 billion to secure space-solar energy. By 2030, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to "put into geostationary orbit a solar-power generator that will transmit one gigawatt of energy to Earth, equivalent to the output of a large nuclear power plant." Japanese officials estimate that, ultimately, they will be able to deliver electricity at a cost of $0.09 per kilowatt-hour, which will be competitive with all other sources.
A Consortium for Peace
President Kennedy once said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard." The United States readily achieved that objective and, effectively, won the Cold War. A similar challenge is now presented in the race for space solar energy. What, if anything, will President Obama say or do?
Rather than a competition, however, the United States, China, Japan, and perhaps Russia, should organize a public service consortium to cooperatively produce energy from outer space.
Such a consortium could take advantage of the unique abilities of each nation to collectively produce space-solar energy, and it would avoid private corporate domination over the distribution of a product that is essential to human civilization.
A Space-Solar Energy Consortium would be a giant step toward world peace and a small leap into the universe of unlimited and unimaginable futures that surround and await us.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).