Space Energy Initiative

Helping nations achieve Net Zero with Space-Based Solar Power and creating new commercial opportunities

Our Mission

We recognise the challenges of Net Zero, and the need for new baseload energy technologies to complement our intermittent renewables. The SEI will lead the development of Space Based Solar Power for the UK, offering large scale, safe, and secure energy day and night, through all seasons and weather. Through a structured and collaborative programme of design, research and technology demonstration, the SEI will promote integration and innovation between Space, Energy, Digital, and Manufacturing ecosystems.

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About Us

Climate change and the pressures on global energy resources are urgent problems.

The UK has set out an ambitious national clean energy policy – Net Zero – to fully decarbonise the economy by 2050. This future energy scenario requires clean and sustainable energy generation from renewable sources for homes and industry. This energy generation must at the same time remain affordable, reliable and secure if our economy is to thrive.

Space Based Solar Power offers a range of characteristics which could help the UK deliver Net Zero, with a new source of abundant, sustainable power. SBSP is the concept of harvesting free solar energy in space, beamed to Earth safely as microwaves, collected and converted to electricity for the Grid, each one equivalent in output to a large coal power station.

The Space Energy Initiative (SEI) will bring together government, research and industry in the energy and space sectors to develop and deliver a co-ordinated programme of technology development and demonstration.

Meeting the timeline set out by the Government’s Net Zero pledge, and in partnership with other nations, the aim is to establish the first orbital demonstrator SBSP system by 2030, with the first of a kind operational system delivering power into the grid by 2040. The first generation of Solar Power Satellites would be in operation by the mid 2040s, replacing a substantial proportion of the UK’s legacy fossil fuel energy generation capacity.

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Research

Research into key opportunities and development of capability and knowledge in an open environment. Researchers and commercial partners work together to establish the key research questions and topics to progress.

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Development and Innovation

Development and innovation through collaboration, leading to design and demonstration of systems that address international energy requirements.

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Implementation and Commercialisation

Commercialisation led by operators and service providers to ensure commercial viability and realisation of climate and resilience benefits of space-based energy assets.

Our Objectives:

Convene an International Partnership for development of Space Based Energy
Establish multidisciplinary advisory board(s) for technical, ethical, commercial, and policy guidance and advice
Secure funding for delivery of Research, Development and Innovation, and programmes of activity
Promotion, awareness raising and capacity building for space based energy implementation
Expand and prioritise research into feasibility and systems design of Space Based Energy
Support the Design, Development, and Operationalisation of the first Space Based Energy system by 2030

Membership

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Aetheric Engineering

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Airbus Defence & Space

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Blenheim Capital Partners

Blenheim Capital Partners

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Commercial Space Technologies

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Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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Department for International Trade

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Energy Systems Catapult

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City, University of London

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Durham University

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Fieldfisher

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Frazer-Nash Consultancy

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Innovate UK

IECL

International Electric Company

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Imperial College London

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Lumi Space

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Magdrive

MTC

Manufacturing Technology Centre

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Metasat UK

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National Grid

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Northern Space and Security Ltd (NORSS)

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Oxford Space Systems

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Reaction Engines

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RuderFinn

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Satellite Applications Catapult

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Space Power

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Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)

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Surrey Space Centre

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Swansea University

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Teledyne

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Thales Alenia Space

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UK Launch Services Limited

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University of Cambridge

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University of Southampton

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University of Strathclyde

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University of Suffolk

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University of Surrey