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Space Energy Newsletter May 2011

Space Energy Progress Report

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to this edition of the Space Energy Newsletter. It has been an exciting year so far for our industry and for Space Energy.

Contrary to the recent global economic situation the solar industry is thriving. Solar panel costs in the US dropped by 12.5% just in the first quarter of 2011 and demand for solar power is rising, driven by measures such as the California law which requires the state to obtain a third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Individual, institutional and corporate investors are increasingly recognising the potential of this industry. The first quarter of 2011 saw over $2.5bn USD invested by venture capitalists in the clean technology sector, with the majority of that money going to solar power. This is a 13% rise from the year before.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the unfortunate tragedy in Japan. This disaster has highlighted the urgent need for safe, reliable, clean base-load and emergency power. This also reignited the debate over Space Based Solar Power, which is moving closer to becoming a reality, with Space Energy leading the way amongst private organisations.

Space Energy has been moving forward with pre-development stages on multiple solar park developments in the US and is exploring options for lucrative investments internationally. Our pipeline of projects for development has grown to several hundreds of MWs over 2-3 year horizon.

Spurred by all these developments Space Energy has just secured several million USD in funding, allowing the acceleration of plans to complete on a large portion of our development pipeline this year. We can also confirm that we are currently going through regulatory compliance in preparation of launching an equity issue. Capital from this will further fund numerous business development plans currently being finalised by the management team.

Please sit back and enjoy this month’s newsletter, we think you‘ll agree there is a lot to be excited about.

To a cleaner, brighter and better future!

The Space Energy Team

Evolving Ideas

Evolving Ideas is a weekly radio show with Elaine Smitha on the Progressive Radio Network (PRN). It focuses on increasing awareness of new ideas and broadening perspectives on topics less explored by mainstream media. It is not surprising that a programme like this has recently asked Peter Sage, Space Energy Founder and Principal, to participate and discuss the concept of Space Based Solar Power. Recent nuclear disasters have increased awareness of the need for a more permanent solution to global energy needs. Traditional renewable such as ground based solar power will play a key role in this process. However constraints such as large demands for physical space mean they will only play a supplementary role. Space Based Solar Power is the only technology capable of permanently freeing us from dependence on depleting energy resources and inherent dangers of nuclear power.

The full interview can be downloaded here.

Facebook and Twitter

As you have seen in our previous Newsletter we have launched the new Space Energy Facebook and Twitter pages. These proved to be a great success. In just a short period of time our Facebook page gained over 2500 followers, with a further 1000+ on Twitter. We will continue to use these pages to highlight industry information relevant to Space Energy and immediate news of developments at Space Energy. These pages are also a chance for you to communicate with our team – we always welcome your feedback, comments and other relevant posts.

Nuclear Energy Isn't Needed

Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council have put together a study called “Energy [R]evolution,” which clearly shows that a clean energy pathway is cheaper, healthier and delivers faster results for the climate than any other option. This plan calls for the phase-out of existing reactors around the world and a moratorium on construction of new commercial nuclear reactors.

The full article can be found here.

A Global Energy War Looms

HSBC has calculated what would happen to energy consumption by 2050 given plausible forecasts for economic growth and assuming no constraint on resources. Regardless of the environmental consequences, traditional energy industries would struggle to cope and more likely would find it impossible. The world can still accommodate high growth, but only if there is a collective change in behaviour, including much greater energy efficiency and a big change in the energy mix.

For the full article click here.

Sunshot's $1 Per Watt Goal Feasible

Rapid growth in solar photovoltaics has brought installation costs within sight of $1 per watt for large projects. That “freefall” has been driven by the growth of solar installations, which is no longer a small business – it is a $100 billion industry worldwide. The cost reductions are so dramatic, that Bloomberg recently reported that solar energy could soon rival coal, while it has also become competitive during peak times in Japan and California.

Please click here for full article.

India and China Changing Position On Nuclear

Prior to the tragedy in Japan, China and India were both planning major investment into new nuclear plants. But now both have changed position. China performed a near U-turn when it abruptly announced a freeze on approvals for planned plants. India has similarly changed tack, although in a less dramatic manner, by calling for a review of the country's nuclear safety rules.

Please find the full article by clicking here.

California Signs Law Requiring 33% Energy be Renewable by 2020

Gov. Jerry Brown on April 12 signed into law a requirement that California get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy, by the year 2020. Calling the law the most ambitious clean-energy effort in the nation, the governor predicted that it would help jump-start the state's economy. He said he expects the aggressive shift away from coal and natural gas to create jobs while putting the state on the cutting edge of new technology.

Please click here for full article.

San Francisco Targets 100% Solar Energy by 2020

Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, in a speech before solar energy enthusiasts stated that he wants the whole of San Francisco to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy by 2020.

The full article can be read here.

DOE Awards $170m SunShot Initiative to Reduce Solar Costs

The US Department of Energy announced nearly $170M USD in funding for advanced solar energy technologies as part of the SunShot Initiative. This Initiative is a collaborative national approach to make solar energy technologies cost-competitive with other forms of energy by reducing the cost of solar energy systems by about 75% before 2020.

Please find the full article here.

Google Invests $168M in Solar Energy Project

Google Inc. is investing $168 million in an alternative power project that aims to produce enough solar energy to light 140,000 homes. The commitment is part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to build solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert. BrightSource also has lined up $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy and a $300 million investment from NRG Energy Inc.

Click here for full story.

GE to Invest $600m to Build Largest U.S. Solar Factory

GE also announced that it will invest $600 million to build the largest solar panel production facility in the US. At full capacity the 400MW facility will produce enough panels each year to power 80,000 homes.

Please click here for full article.

Japanese to Test Microwave Power Transmission

A team of scientists from several Japanese organisations will begin tests this spring on a space-based power generation technology. The planned test will attempt to convert a strong electric current into microwaves and transmit them 10 meters away in a simulated outer space environment at Kyoto University.

Please click this link for full story.

Beam it Up

The Pelican, a small, remotely controlled helicopter drone weighing less than a kilogram, is powered by a battery that provides about 20 minutes flying. And yet a laser, aimed from the ground at photovoltaic cells mounted on the Pelican’s underside, charged the chopper’s battery, keeping her aloft for an unprecedented 12 hours and 27 minutes. An optical-tracking system kept the laser beam on target.

Please click here for full story.

Neutron Analysis Yields Insight into Bacteria for Solar Energy

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used small-angle neutron scattering to analyze the structure of chlorosomes in green photosynthetic bacteria. Chlorosomes are efficient at collecting sunlight for conversion to energy, even in low-light and extreme environments. The size, shape and organization of light-harvesting complexes such as chlorosomes are critical factors in electron transfer to semiconductor electrodes in solar devices. Understanding how chlorosomes function in nature could help scientists mimic the chlorosome's efficiency to create robust biohybrid or bio-inspired solar cells.

Please click this link for full article.

Europeans Want Space Debris Trackers of Their Own

Human space-farers and satellites constantly dodge a cloud of dangerous debris left over from orbital traffic accidents and launches. Now the European Space Agency has taken its first steps toward creating its own space surveillance system that could track thousands of objects per second. One such step takes the form of demonstrator radar that will eventually lead to a system capable of tracking 15,000 to 20,000 objects on the radar for at least 10 seconds each day.

Please click here for full story.

Useful Resources

Laying the Foundation for Space Solar Power: An Assessment of NASA's Space Solar Power Investment Strategy
(http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10202) - now available as a free pdf download Space-Based Technologies and Commercialized Development (http://www.igi-global.com/bookstore/titledetails.aspx?titleid=45612&detailstype=preface)

Energy [r]evolution:
A Sustainable World Energy Outlook http://www.energyblueprint.info

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly
shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future
instead of letting the future control us."

-Jimmy Carter


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