Energy crisis: £3m boost for revolutionary power station to make other sources ‘redundant’

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Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced last month that projects collecting solar power with satellites in the Earth’s orbit will be able to apply for a funding grant worth £3million. These projects have been tipped to provide an ”affordable, clean and reliable source of energy” by the Business Minister. This could prove vital in improving the UK’s energy security and may play a huge role in preventing another crisis further down the line.

It comes as wholesale gas prices have been soaring, exposing the volatile nature of the markets and the dangers of relying on the fossil fuel to provide energy.

Speaking on the Government announcement, Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim Space told Express.co.uk: “The UK Government is focused on the big prize.

“Being able to provide clean energy from space is going to be a game-changer and is the kind of thing that we need to do in order to address the giant problems we are facing from the climate perspective.”

And he said that further down the line, it may change the complete nature of the UK energy mix.

While the projects are still in the pipeline and will not provide any immediate relief to the current energy crisis sending bills soaring, these projects are “partly” a response to soaring gas prices.

Mr Boggett told Express.co.uk: “These are long-term projects and a lot needs to be developed and proven in space before this is going to have an impact on energy.

“What this is about is the first step on a long path to align all of the technologies so we can enable this.

“This is partly in response to the global energy crisis, but this has been a focus that has been building over the last 12-18 months.

“The UK has tried to identify a range of areas where we have got technical expertise and the ability to create game-changing technologies.

“Over an extended period of time, it could make all other forms of energy redundant, and I truly believe that we can get there in the end.

“The Sun and its power has far more energy than the world will ever need. If we can harness that in a safe and effective way, that is really going to be a game-changer.”

While the Government grant is available for any British space-based solar project to apply to, there is currently just one initiative that has been set up.

Space Energy Initiative (SEI) is the project which could see Britain set up the first power station in space by 2035.

It is made up of satellites with lightweight solar panels and a system of mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto the panels, generating around 3.4 GW of electricity on the satellite.

By the mid-2040s, the power generated from the space station could reach 30GW, accounting for up to 30 percent of the UK’s electricity demand.

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The SEI was “delighted” with the Government funding announcement and highlighted that it built on recommendations of a study by the Frazer-Nash Consultancy, published in September 2021.

The study revealed that Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) are only technologically viable and can bring strong economic benefit to the UK.

It also claimed that it can help the UK race to its net zero target if it is developed quickly enough.

Commenting on the Government funding announcement, Martin Soltau, Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative said: “I am delighted that the findings of the Frazer-Nash study have been responded to in this positive way.

The SEI was “delighted” with the Government funding announcement.

and highlighted that it built on recommendations of a study by the Frazer-Nash Consultancy, published in September 2021.

The study revealed that Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) are only technologically viable and can bring strong economic benefit to the UK.

It also claimed that it can help the UK race to its net zero target if it is developed quickly enough.

Commenting on the Government funding announcement, Martin Soltau, Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative said: “I am delighted that the findings of the Frazer-Nash study have been responded to in this positive way.

“This announcement is the first important step on a journey which will ultimately lead us to clean, green energy from space that can be beamed to earth day and night, through all seasons and weather. It’s the most forward-looking solution we have today to the UK’s future energy needs.”

Sam Adlen, Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative said: “The Space-Based Solar Power concept has today been given a stamp of approval by the UK Government.

“The announcement will focus the brightest minds in the space and energy industries on this technology and I look forward to seeing what innovative UK companies, working closely together, will be able to develop.”

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