The inside of the space-based Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment (MAPLE) which emits collected energy across empty space using an array of transmitters (right) to two receivers (right) to illuminate an LED. Image Credit, Video: Caltech

EnvironmentTechnology United States 21. June 2023

Wireless Energy from Space: a Revolutionary Feat

In a world first, scientists have successfully beamed solar power from space to Earth without a single wire.

“In the same way that the internet democratized access to information, we hope that wireless energy transfer democratizes access to energy,” explains Space Solar Power Project co-director Ali Hajimiri. “No energy transmission infrastructure will be needed on the ground to receive this power. That means we can send energy to remote regions and areas devasted by war or natural disaster.”

The experiment was completed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology, with researchers affirming that wirelessly transmitting solar power energy from space would be a huge jump in renewable energy. Japan even has plans to start using this renewable energy form by the mid-2030s. What’s more, space-based power collection would be able to store energy 24 hours a day, unlike ground-based solar power collection, which loses its ability after nightfall.


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