S4 Episode 3: Space-Based Solar Power live recording

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By The Actionable Futurist® Andrew Grill. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This special episode of the podcast was recorded live in front of an audience in February 2022 at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London and features a panel of experts discussing a very interesting subject of Space-Based solar power.

I was joined on stage by
Martin Soltau Co-Chair Space Energy Initiative & Space Business Lead at Frazer-Nash Consultancy

Dr Alice Bunn CEO Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Sam Adlen Chief Strategy Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult and

Ali Stickings Space Strategy lead at Fraser Nash Consultancy

You will also hear remarks from Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest who is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Space, and Chair of The Space Energy Initiative Advisory Board as well as Nick Wayth Chief Executive at The Energy Institute.

To provide some context around this episode and the topic, we all accept that fossil fuels are not a sustainable form of energy, and renewable energy such as solar and wind have issues when it is cloudy or calm.

To meet the energy needs of a country like the UK or Australia, we need a “baseload” technology that can provide a sustained demand for power.

The UK chapter of The Institution of Engineers Australia teamed up with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for their monthly “Spring Forward” hybrid lecture series to look at a potential new form of energy – Space-Based Solar Power.

The concept is not new – it was first mooted by Isaac Asimov as science fiction in the 1940s, and in 1968, Dr Peter Glaser of Arthur D. Little introduced the concept of using microwaves for power transmission from geosynchronous orbit to an Earth-based rectifying antenna.

Since then, technology has advanced on several fronts to remove some of the technological and economic barriers to practical full-scale implementation.

Issues covered in this episode include:

  • How Space-Based power actually works
  • The opportunity for generating power from space
  • How to overcome challenges in commercialising this technology
  • How space-based solar power contributes to the net-zero debate
  • The future for space-based solar power generation
  • How Space solar power gives Governments options
  • Solar power vs Nuclear Fusion
  • What will the solution cost?
  • The regulatory risks
  • The role of Government
  • The security concerns
  • Who regulates the space segment
  • The spin-off benefits
  • What other countries are doing?
  • The UK-Australia Space Bridge
  • The Space Energy Initiative
  • The job creation opportunities
  • Nick Wayth Chief Executive at Energy Institute comments
  • Audience question: How can the UK maintain a lead in this area?
  • Audience question: What is happening in Australia?
  • Audience question: What can go wrong?
  • Mark Garnier MP closing remarks

Resources
UK Government’s paper on Space-Based Solar Power

Your Host: Actionable Futurist® Andrew Grill
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