Solar power plants built in space could make more sense than nuclear plants on the ground as the world moves away from fossil fuels for generating electricity, experts have said.
The European Space Agency (ESA), of which the UK is a member, is assessing plans that would involve a satellite several miles long being assembled by robots in orbit.
It would carry a solar array that would be illuminated by the sun for more than 99 per cent of the time, allowing it to produce power day and night and no matter the weather on Earth.
The energy would be beamed back to the ground via high frequency radio waves. Advocates of the technology believe that a single plant could deliver 2GW of renewable power into the grid — roughly comparable to a nuclear power station.
The technology could offer “an alternative option to nuclear power”, said Dr Sanjay Vijendran, who has been studying it for ESA.