Energy crisis: £3m for revolutionary power station to make other sources ‘superfluous’ | Science | New

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced last month that solar power harvesting projects with satellites in Earth orbit will be able to apply for grant funding worth £3million. These projects have been designated to provide an “affordable, clean and reliable source of energy” by the Minister for Business. This could prove vital to improving UK energy security and could play a huge role in preventing another crisis down the road.

It comes as wholesale gas prices have soared, exposing the volatile nature of markets and the dangers of relying on fossil fuels to supply power.

Speaking on the government’s announcement, Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim Space, told Express.co.uk: “The UK government is focused on the jackpot.

“Being able to deliver clean energy from space is going to be a game-changer and that’s the kind of thing we need to do to solve the giant problems we face from a climate perspective.”

And he said that down the road it could change the whole nature of Britain’s energy mix.

Although the projects are still in the works and will bring no immediate relief to the current energy crisis which is driving up bills, these projects are “in part” a response to soaring gas prices.

Mr Boggett told Express.co.uk: “These are long-term projects and a lot of things need to be developed and proven in space before it has an energy impact.

“What this is about is the first step on a long journey to align all technologies so that we can enable this.

“It’s partly in response to the global energy crisis, but it’s a priority that has grown over the past 12 to 18 months.

“The UK has tried to identify a range of areas where we have technical expertise and the ability to create breakthrough technologies.

“Over a long period of time, this could make all other forms of energy redundant, and I really believe we can get there in the end.

“The Sun and its power has far more energy than the world will ever need. If we can harness that safely and efficiently, it will be a real game-changer.”

Although the government grant is available for any UK space solar project, there is currently only one initiative that has been put in place.

Space Energy Initiative (SEI) is the project that could see Britain install the first power plant in space by 2035.

It is made up of satellites fitted with lightweight solar panels and a system of mirrors to focus sunlight onto the panels, generating around 3.4 GW of electricity on the satellite.

By the mid-2040s, the power generated by the space station could reach 30 GW, representing up to 30% of UK electricity demand.

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The IES was “delighted” with the government’s funding announcement and stressed that it was based on the recommendations of a Frazer-Nash Consultancy study, published in September 2021.

The study found that space-based solar power (SBSP) is only technologically viable and can bring strong economic benefits to the UK.

He also claimed he could help the UK reach its net zero target if it grew fast enough.

Commenting on the government funding announcement, Martin Soltau, co-chair of the Space Energy Initiative, said: “I am delighted that the findings of the Frazer-Nash study have received a positive response.

The IES was “delighted” with the government funding announcement.

and stressed that it was based on the recommendations of a study by Frazer-Nash Consultancy, published in September 2021.

The study found that space-based solar power (SBSP) is only technologically viable and can bring strong economic benefits to the UK.

He also claimed he could help the UK reach its net zero target if it grew fast enough.

Commenting on the government funding announcement, Martin Soltau, co-chair of the Space Energy Initiative, said: “I am delighted that the findings of the Frazer-Nash study have received a positive response.

“This announcement is the first important step on a journey that will ultimately lead us to clean, green energy from space that can be delivered to earth day and night, through all seasons and all weathers. the most future-proof solution we have today for the UK’s future energy needs.

Sam Adlen, Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative, said: “The space solar energy concept has today received approval from the UK Government.

“The announcement will draw some of the brightest minds in the space and energy industries to this technology and I look forward to seeing what innovative UK companies, working closely together, can develop.”



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