By Space Energy Initiative - March 16th, 2022 | Posted in News No comments

Mark Garnier MP, Chair of the Space Energy Initiative Advisory Board, today announced the launch of the Space Energy Initiative (SEI), a UK-led partnership to build a new global programme to accelerate society’s transition to carbon net zero targets.

SEI brings together fifty organisations across industry sectors, government and academia, and agencies. By working together, even greater impact can be generated by harnessing knowledge, technologies and skills to protect our planet and our communities.

At the launch event, the SEI announced its plans to harness the sun’s abundant energy in space, beaming clean energy continuously and safely to Earth. This is actually a decades-old idea, and the confluence of energy policy, decreasing launch costs, and growth in the space economy mean that Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) can now be financially viable for the first time. Development of the technology will generate substantial economic and societal benefits, positioning the UK as a leader in truly sustainable energy solutions.

Studies show SBSP will be both technically and economically viable, and can replace fossil fuel sources in the baseload energy mix, providing a clean way to power our homes, our transport and our industries. Solar power captured continuously in space can be delivered day and night, through all weather and seasons. Its flexibility to vary the power on demand means that it will operate alongside other sources of energy such as wind and ground solar, including when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

Speakers at the SEI launch event included:

  • Mark Garnier MP, Chair, Space Energy Initiative Advisory Board
  • Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State, Dept. for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat)
  • Professor Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Advisor, Dept. for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Will Whitehorn, Chair, Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC
  • Professor Goran Strbac, Energy Futures Lab, Imperial College London
  • Martin Soltau, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Sam Adlen, Satellite Applications Catapult. Co-Chairs, Space Energy Initiative

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Mark Garnier MP commented “We all recognise the urgent need to think big and act now to reduce our reliance on carbon fuels to better protect the environment and our precious climate, while also increasing high-tech jobs and growth. I am delighted as Chair of the Advisory Board to witness for myself the commitment from every member of the Space Energy Initiative”.

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Will Whitehorn said: “The UK is uniquely placed to capitalise on its Energy, Space and Finance Industry expertise to solve the net zero challenge by industrialising the production of solar energy from space on a vast scale. The Sun is a free fusion reactor and energy from space can provide for our future needs 24 hours a day all year round as there is no night and no season up outside the atmosphere. This is a crucial moment to capitalise on the UK’s global leadership in the quest for net zero.”

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Professor Goran Strbac said “I am inspired by SEI’s collaborative approach to solving this global issue. We need new sources of baseload and dispatchable energy if we are to achieve Net Zero, and Space Based Solar Power could help to meet the world’s demands for affordable energy”.