Submitted by **larsschellhas** t3_124pxcz
in **space**

I'm really into space and also into energy technology. And while space-based solar power appeared to just not be worth it, SpaceX's advancement in driving down cost is really bringing it into the realm of the possible now. Last year, Roland Berger and Frazer Nash even made studies for ESA showing that SBSP might become the most affordable baseload-able power source!

What do you think about space-based solar power? Will SBSP power humanity in the decades to come?

In case you haven't heard from it before, I've tried to summarise what I was able to learn about it in this article :)

ferrel_hadleyt1_je0ev4c wroteHow long will it take to get the same amount of energy back to Earth from 1 tonne of solar arrays as it costs to get that 1 tonne to the relevant orbit?

If the answer is a year, then yes. If its 20 years then unlikely.

Energy cost will be your hard floor, if it takes too long to get the energy back then you are wasting your time. Above that comes the economics, how much can you get from consumers for 1 tonne on orbit vs the cost of getting it there. This is a bit more flexible as you can work on the non fuel costs.

Space does offer advantages, you can almost always be at 90^(0) to the Sun and you can have less atmosphere to get through. Its also almost always very sunny. It has disadvantages like the current insane cost to orbit and the difficulties getting energy once you move beyond the tropics and into more oblique angles.

The current answer is a very loud no with current technology. The point where no becomes yes is one of engineering and economics and an open question if you consider current costs to orbit easy to cut.