Japan’s Shimuzu Corporation has an crazy plan to turn the moon into a gigantic solar power plant. Maybe it’s not so nutty considering that the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has made the Japanese think much more seriously about alternative energy. Shimuzu is an early leader in developing what some might consider far-fetched plans to “supply energy to the entire world.” Here’s what they’d like to do: Build a 12-mile-wide, 6,800-mile-long “Luna Ring” of solar panels on the lunar surface. The gigantic power plant would then beam the collected energy back to planet Earth via microwave beams and lasers. Space-based solar panels would degrade at about eight times the rate they do on Earth, and be subject to bombardment from major space debris, which hits the moon at a disproportionate rate. Shimuzu claims their facility could generate 13,000 terawatts of energy continuously if the project was operating according to parameters. By comparison, it took the US an entire year in 2011 to generate 4,100 terawatts of power. So while it’s sounding like a better idea but the plan is more-or-less a pipe dream at current. Big thinking is needed about alternative energy these days. The United States alone is currently using over 119 million barrels of oil a day, and it’s not going to last forever. (via Policy Mic)
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