Over the years, numerous research studies have been conducted into ways in which the earths energy demands can be met. The escalating world’s population is increasing the need for low-cost and sustainable sources of energy. Considering the present day climate changes in the world construction of solar power stations on the surface of the moon may turn out to be a sus-tainable way of fulfilling global energy needs. The moon typically captures over a hundred times more solar energy than is currently needed to satisfy earths energy demands.
Over the years, people have turned to solar power as it is environmental friendly, more efficient, and less costly relative to other sources of energy. However, solar energy is unreliable because of the lack of sun hitting the earth at all times due to atmospheric conditions. By plac-ing solar panels in space, high above the atmosphere, there would be no weather to contend with, and the panels would experience nearly constant sunlight. The light that would reach these lunar solar panels would be much brighter due to the light not being filtered through the atmosphere. Solar panels placed on the moon would utilise microwaves to beam power back to receivers on earth. The design of the system would ensure that the level of microwaves would not present any risk to humans or other organisms on earth.
Another concern with the use of lunar panels is the potential to cast shadows onto the earths surface. At the times when the moon eclipses the sun, it only casts a shadow on a rela-tively small part of the earth’s surface momentarily, and the small size of an array of solar panels compared to the moon, would not cause any significant difference to this shadow.
Presently, over fifty five percent of energy emanating from the sun is normally lost as it traverses the atmosphere. This may be through various effects such as reflection as well as ab-sorption in the atmosphere. An array of solar panels on the moon surface would convert sunlight into microwaves in outer space avoiding such losses. The lack of atmosphere and other factors that make lunar life impossible make the moon the perfect place for collection of energy em-anating from the sun.
The lunar solar panels would act as satellites that transmit energy. They first collect high-intensity solar radiation with giant mirrors that subsequently reflect large quantities of these solar rays onto the surface of lesser solar collectors. These rays are subsequently radiated to Earth wirelessly, in a controlled and safe way, as low-intensity microwaves.
Laser rays are not used to radiated the energy back to the earth as they are able to be blocked by clouds, making their transmission inefficient. Additionally, microwaves are more efficiently converted into electrical energy relative to laser rays. The radiated microwaves are converted by receivers into usable electrical energy on the earth’s surface. This process would be far more efficient than energy production by any solar panels on any part of the Earth’s surface.
The idea of solar panels on the moon may seem unachievable. Admittedly, a lot of re-sources and money would be required to implement such a project. However, considering such a project would ultimately confer numerous advantages in terms of cheaper power than the current energy systems, placing an array of solar panels on the moon may be the best option for our fu-ture energy needs. It is estimated that in the coming decades the worldwide energy demand will be over 20 terawatts. Such energy demands cannot be met by either the present day earth-based renewable energy technologies or the current supply of fossil fuels.
Such a far-sighted and ambitious project is bound to experience numerous complications. For instance, for this project to work, it would require construction of numerous large receivers and power grids globally, including within third world countries. Hopefully, all the countries of the world can take up the challenge since such a project would benefit the future of the earth and its future energy needs.