Discussion Paper

Can Power from Space Compete?

Mar 1, 2000 | Molly K. Macauley, Joel Darmstadter, John N. Fini, Joel S. Greenberg, John S. Maulbetsch, A. Michael Schaal, Geoffrey S.W. Styles, James A. Vedda


Satellite solar power (SSP) has been suggested as an alternative to terrestrial energy resources for electricity generation. In this study, we consider the market for electricity from the present to 2020, roughly the year when many experts expect SSP to be technically achievable. We identify several key challenges for SSP in competing with conventional electricity generation in developed and developing countries, discuss the role of market and economic analysis as technical development of SSP continues during the coming years, and suggest future research directions to improve understanding of the potential economic viability of SSP.