Solar power system
The idea of harnessing solar power from space has been around for a while; Asimov included it in at least two of his stories that I remember-but may finally be a reality come 2016.
California’s biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company, Solaren, that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016.
Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E’s power grid.
There’s no risk to PG&E because they’re not investing anything into the company, just agreeing to buy power at a certain rate if the space power does come through by 2016.