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Renewable Energy expert Dr Hasan Baig was a guest on the online discussion programme Roundtable. 

Exeter expert discusses space-based solar power

A Renewable Energy expert from the University of Exeter has taken part in a high-profile debate over the potential to develop space-based solar power.

Dr Hasan Baig, who is based at the University’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, was recently a guest on the online discussion programme Roundtable, hosted by TRT World News.

The show, titled Solar in Space: Science Fiction or New Frontier? discussed whether space-based solar panels could help ease the energy crisis.

Dr Baig was able to offer his expertise on why it may offer a viable solution, the obstacles currently in place, and concerns about additional space debris.

Dr Baig, a Renewable Energy Research Fellow said: “Space-based solar technologies can definitely contribute towards a part of the energy demand we currently face.

“The key advantage space-based solar can provide is with regards to the provision of electrical power to remote locations. By harnessing the sunlight the space-based solar technologies can transmit electrical power in the form of microwaves. This could be a potential source of electrical supply to small satellites or space stations.

“Space-based solar though has some technical challenges particularly with regards to the electrical power transmission.  

“A lot of doubts have been raised about safety, which is a major hurdle that needs to be crossed. Further, there are cost barriers as well given the major costs around space launches.

“But the capability of space-based solar power is valuable when we are thinking about the exploration of other planets. Thinking of solar power from space to be something to solve all of our own energy demands would be clearly not a viable option.”

The round-table discussion is available to watch here

Date: 17 September 2019

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