Japan Has a Plan: Power Plant in Space

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JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, recently announced that it intends to stick a solar-generated power station in orbit for the first time by 2025—just over a decade.

For Vice.com, Meghan Neal writes: Japan, where the disastrous Fukushima meltdown heightened the search for safe, sustainable alternative energy, is answering that need by sending a power plant into space.

“Solar panels in space are up to 10 times more efficient than the ones we’ve got on Earth, so the potential is beyond intriguing.”

Actually, the plan to power the globe with gigantic space-based solar panels has been kicking around since the ’60s. But thanks to a perfect storm of technological advances—strong but lightweight tether materials, swarming worker robots that can self-assemble, more efficient solar panels, and cheaper payload launches—this thing is actually looking feasible.

[Also see: It’s Always Sunny in Space]

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Image: Screenshot from JAXA/YouTube

Picture this: Floating 24,000 miles above the Earth’s surface is a mammoth power plant (power satellite may be more accurate) that stretches several miles long, weighs 10,000 metric tons, and is covered with solar panels basking in the sun and storing up its powerful energy. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Installs Solar Panels on White House Roof to Power 22 Light Bulbs

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For Breitbart.com, Robert Wilde reports: The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, 6 levels, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators. What’s more, there is now an arrangement of solar panels resting on its roof that is generating almost 44 kilowatt hours of electricity a day.

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According to the Climate Change Dispatch, the not-so-monumental outflow of solar energy accounts for enough juice to power 22 100-watt light bulbs for 20 hours each day. Ironically, if you have ever viewed just one corridor in the White House, you know they would still need to add a few AAAs to keep the bulbs glowing.

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As you may have suspected, Obama is doing all of this to set a good example for all American families and businesses to reduce our need to use fossil fuels, cut carbon emissions, and save the planet from global warming. Read the rest of this entry »