PG&E wants to harvest solar energy from space

Wall-E Solar Charge Level Info Panel by Gymkata
Everyone loves solar power, right? It’s basically an infinitely renewable resource — at least for as long as any of us care — and it’s free. FREE! Why, I remember making and using solar powered hot dog cookers back in Boy Scouts; and people a lot smarter than me have been planning things far more sophisticated than a hot dog cooker. Take Solaren, for example. They’re hoping to work with Pacific Gas & Electric to create space-based solar energy collectors.

To my untrained eye, this looks like something lifted straight from a G.I. Joe storyline. Satellites in space — presumably using a geosynchronous orbit — will collect and store solar energy. They’ll convert it to radio waves and beam it down to Earth, where it will be collected by a station in Fresno, CA. There it will be converted to electricity and distributed out on the power grid.

The comments in the DailyTech article are worth a read, too. The original story — much like this one! — is light on details. The commenters fill in some of the gaps about the practicalities of this solution.