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March 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 15, 2011

As a long time strategic energy analyst, the search for clean low cost energy to restore our economy and environment has been wandering in the desert for decades. Wind power and rooftop solar are intermittent with no cost effective way to convert these oft-mentioned energy alternatives to baseload, dispatchable grid-type power. Nuclear suffers from cost, proliferation, competition for water and safety issues. Oil and even liquid alternatives, like biofuels, are expected to peak this decade and continue lurching higher in price.
OIl and gas are scraping the bottom of the barrel (fracking).
The Space Solar Power Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit, has been studying a new baseload clean low cost energy since at their workshop at http://sspi.gatech.edu/
Space Solar Power (SSP) is dispatchable. It uses none of our increasingly scarce fresh water resources. It taps the sun directly in high orbit. Their suggestion to overcome SSP's daunting initial cost appears to follow a well proven path. Just as Congress chartered Comsat Corp in 1962 and built our successful communications satellite industry, so Congress could now charter Sunsat Corp to build a power satellite industry. Japan’s USEF consortium has begun just this process with a budgeted $2 Trillion yen (~US $24 Billion) to kick-start an SSP prototype by 2025. They expect to be able to provide SSP electricity to customers at eight yen (nine cents) per kilowatt-hour, six times cheaper than its 2010 cost in Japan.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping K12, college kids, and energy and space professionals understand and write about the concept of SSP.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund it better to provide a wider understanding of how we can address our economy/energy/climate change problems with a baseload energy alternative big and clean enough to do the massive job necessary.

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