- ESA has launched a RFI to source information about breakthrough technologies for SBSP
- It will enable the agency to prepare the ground for technical, political and programmatic basis for Solaris program to be launched fully in 2025
- The agency can get rapid understanding of European industry’s view of challenges in meeting the demanding needs of SBSP technologies
The European Space Agency (ESA) has opened a request for information (RFI) round to ascertain breakthrough technologies for solar based solar power (SBSP) to help it prepare a proposal for Solaris program through which Europe will aim for clean and secure energy from space for earth.
SBSP aims to leverage the power of the sun unencumbered right in the space and beamed back to the earth wirelessly 24×7 to be converted into electricity.
Through the RFI, ESA aims to survey the level of industrial interest across its member states from all stakeholders in participating in future technology development activities and system studies related to SBSP.
Solaris is conceived as a preparatory program for Europe to prepare the ground for technical, political and programmatic basis for a possible decision on a full development program in 2025 so that Europe can source SBSP for terrestrial needs. The program will address potential environmental, health and safety issues and challenges related to regulation and international space policy coordination.
“This RFI is intended to assist the agency in gaining a rapid understanding of European industry’s view of the state-of-the-art and challenges ahead in meeting the demanding needs of Space-Based Solar Power-related technologies that have been identified through previous and on-going work in Europe and internationally,” stated the ESA.
Last date to submit proposals is September 14, 2022. Further details are available on the agency’s website.
Europe’s efforts follow Chinese plans to build solar power plant in space for power generated to be beamed back on earth. Even the UK government is exploring SBSP to deliver clean baseload energy (see UK Grant Competition For Space-to-Earth R&D).