China's plan to build power stations in outer space

space
The first facility to build parts for the solar plants is reportedly already under construction. Photo credit: Getty

China is planning to build power stations thousands of kilometres out in space.

According to a report in Chinese state media, solar stations in outer space would be six times more efficient than those on the ground.

"The sun's rays will not be weakened by the atmosphere, nor will it be affected by seasonal and day and night changes," reported Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

The energy collected by stations 3D-printed and built in geosynchronous orbit - 36,000km above the ground - would be beamed back to Earth by microwave.

"The fixed-point transmission of energy through the space to the ground provides an inexhaustible source of clean energy," the Daily said.

And it could also mean an end to electric car range anxiety - cars will be able to request energy straight from the power station, and have it beamed down.

The first facility to build parts for the solar plants is reportedly already under construction in Chongquing, with the first launch expected in 2021.

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