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Space-based solar energy investment to reach $1.9 billion by 2029

Investment by space vendors and agencies in space-based solar energy will grow from $370 million in 2024 to $1.9 billion in 2029, a new study by Juniper Research said.

This substantial increase will be driven by the need for renewable baseload energy. Baseload energy refers to the minimum amount of energy required to be provided to the grid.

Space-based solar power transmits solar energy collected in space to the terrestrial electricity grid or specific use cases, such as disaster relief centres.

Transition to Renewables Necessitates New Energy Sources
For the transition from fossil fuels, renewable energy sources must be able to constantly meet baseload energy demands. Due to the dependence of terrestrial renewables such as wind on their environment, output varies significantly; limiting their ability to meet baseload energy requirements.

The report identified space-based solar energy as key to resolving this challenge, as space-based solar energy systems can provide near-constant energy to the grid. To maximise the return on investment, space vendors and agencies must focus on technologies such as self-healing solar cells.

Self-healing solar cell technology prevents solar cells from degrading when used, by leveraging materials such as perovskite to continuously replace bonds broken by solar radiation. This will enable vendors to extend the lifespan of space-based solar energy satellites and increase their return on investment.

Research author Alex Webb remarked: “To be optimised for spaceflight, the report recommended that self-healing solar cells be manufactured as ultra-thin cells. This minimises solar cell mass, thus decreasing rocket launch costs and increasing the flexibility in space-based solar energy system design.” Juniper Research

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