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Geoengineering Vision-Application for Space Solar Power
Eastlund, B. J.; Jenkins, L. M.
Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Solar Power from Space - SPS '04, together with The 5th International Conference on Wireless Power Transmission - WPT 5 (ESA SP-567). 30 June - 2 July 2004, Granada, Spain. Organized by ESA, Co-sponsored by Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Ciemat, USEF, CDTI, EADS Space Transportation, DLR. Compiled by: H. Lacoste & L. Ouwehand., p.275
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The continued extreme use of fossil fuels to meet world energy needs is putting the Earth at risk for significant climate change. In an uncontrolled experiment, the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is apparently affecting the Earth's climate. The global climate is warming and severe storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes are getting worse. Alternatives to fossil fuels may reduce the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Space Solar Power, from orbiting satellites, provides an option for clean, renewable energy that will reduce the pressure on the Earth's environmental system. Uncertainty in the cost of commercial power from space has been the principal issue inhibiting investment support by the power companies. Geoengineering is defined as the use of technology to interact with the global environment. A Solar Power Satellite represents a capability for considering geoengineering concepts. The Thunderstorm Solar Power Satellite (TSPS) is a concept for interacting with thunderstorms to prevent formation of tornadoes. Before weather modification can be safely attempted, the fine structure of thunderstorms must be computer simulated and related to tornadogenesis. TSPS benefits are saving lives and reducing property. These benefits are not as sensitive to the system economics as the commercial solar power satellite and can be used to justify government investment in space solar power. The TSPS can develop and demonstrate the technology and operations critical to understanding the cost of space solar power. Consequently, there is no direct competition with fossil fuel based power supplies until SSP technology and operations have been demonstrated.
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