Wang Xiji of the China Academy of Sciences, speaking at the China Energy Environment Summit on August 28, described a study on space solar power completed last month by the Academy. The study outlined technology development and authentication by 2020 and implementing a commercial space solar power station by 2040.
“Whoever takes the lead in the development and utilization of clean and renewable energy and the space and aviation industry will be the world leader,” Wang said. “The development of a solar power station in space will fundamentally change the way in which people exploit and obtain power.”
It would be nice if someone in the west took the long view once and awhile.
People are freaking out that China might put a man on the Moon 50 years after we did. That wouldn’t change the balance of power much, if at all. However, risky as it is, if China pulls off space solar power they will dominate space and gain a decisive edge in national power.