India to apply solar space power 2020-30 for rural lighting
Yet Mehta has another solution for India's chronic electricity shortage -- one that does not involve power plants on the ground but instead massive sun-gathering satellites in geosynchronous orbits 22,000 miles up in the sky.
The satellites would electromagnetically beam gigawatts of solar energy back to ground-based receivers, where it would then be converted to electricity and transferred to power grids. And because in high earth orbit, satellites are unaffected by the earth's shadow virtually 365 days a year, the floating power plants could provide round-the-clock clean, renewable electricity all year round.
"This will be kind of a leap frog action instead of just crawling," said Mehta, who is the director of India operations for Space Island Group, a California-based company working to develop solar satellites. "It is a win-win situation."
American scientist Peter Glaser first introduced the idea of space solar power in 1968.