The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan in March of 2011 has dealt the country numerous hits — personal, social, and economical, as well as a massive hit to their power infrastructure, with public and international pressure causing the decommissioning of almost all their nuclear reactors. As such, scientists from Japan and without have been looking for a means to create enough electricity to power one of the planet’s economic powerhouses.
A private company has revealed a new and certainly unique method, which quite literally has them reaching for the moon.
Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corporation has unveiled a proposal which would see a solar panel array built around the moon’s equator, collecting solar energy to then be sent back to Earth. The project, entitled LUNA RING, could see construction begin as early as 2035
“A shift from economical use of limited resources to the unlimited use of clean energy is the ultimate dream of all mankind,” Shimizu wrote on their website. “The LUNA RING, our lunar solar power generation concept, translates this dream into reality through ingenious ideas coupled with advanced space technologies.”
Using robots to lay down concrete made from moon soil around the entirety of the moon’s equator — 400 km wide by 11,000 km long — the power generated through the solar array would then be transferred along power cables to microwave power transmission antennas which would then beam the electricity to receiving stations located around the Pacific Rim.
While the cost and hurdles in place have not been addressed, and suggest that Shimizu are not entirely serious about the plan, it does make it very clear the lengths to which Japan are willing to go to gain energy independence.