A Japanese construction firm believes it has found the solution to Japan’s burgeoning energy problems, and maybe even solve the whole world’s problem as well. Shimizu Corp. is proposing to lay a belt of solar panels around the moon in order to harness energy that can be relayed back to Earth.
Ever since the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011, the worst incident since Chernobyl, anti-nuclear sentiment has grown across Japan and the hunt for the next safe and viable energy source has been the target of the government. The Tokyo-based firm, which came up with the proposal even before the 2011 disasters, believes that its “Luna Ring” will be capable of sending 13,000 terawatts back to “receiving stations” back on Earth through lasers or microwave transmission. Considering that for the whole of 2011, the United States generated 4,000 terawatts of power, that is indeed an impressive number. The belt, without the constant interference of cloud cover, can directly mine the solar energy from the sun and then transfer it directly to earth.
The company’s proposal, which is posted on their website, says that there needs to be a “shift from economical use of limited resources to the unlimited use of clean energy” and the Luna Ring will make this into reality. However, they haven’t given any indication as to how much a project like this will entail. But costs will probably skyrocket to space, as the proposal indicates that robots and automated equipment have to be manufactured in order to mine the natural resources on the moon and also to make the concrete and the solar cells that would be needed for the actual construction of the belt. They estimate that construction work can begin as early as 2035. Let’s hope we’re all still alive by then.
[ via The Telegraph ]