Who has been supportive of establishing a program in SSP, and what they have said in public:
1) From the Space Enterprise Council (SEC) [then under US Chamber] white paper, 2008:
…the urgency of energy needs requires ongoing Federal investment in a balanced portfolio of alternative energy research programs, which should include study of SBSP. Major technical progress already achieved in SBSP-related technologies strengthens the case for including SBSP in the mix of alternative sources to explore...Beyond enhancement of energy production per se, SBSP might help create new economic opportunities through resultant technology advances in space launch, space utilization, and technological spin-offs applicable to a host of materials and processes...For example, SBSP research might lead to improvements in the efficiency of solar cells that power communications satellites, as well as power management systems for terrestrial solar power systems...Also, to the extent that SBSP is integrated into terrestrial solar power production, development of SBSP ground infrastructure might generate revenue even before deployment of systems in space. In this and related applications, SBSP could emerge as an enhancement for, rather than a competitor with, terrestrial solar power generation.
http://www.nss.org/settlement/ ssp/library/2008- SECSpaceBasedSolarPowerWhitePa per.pdf
2) From the Abbey-Lane / Baker Institute Report, Maximizing NASA's Potential In Flight and On the Ground: Recommendations for the Next Administration, 2009:
Recommendation 3: Deliver longer-term payoffs (within four to eight years) for energy and the environment…As a potential long-term energy solution, an effort would be made to demonstrate—initially on a small scale—wireless power transmission from space to Earth using shuttle and ISS…this concept has made major strides since its inception …Demonstrating space solar power on a small scale would help us better understand what would need to be done to utilize this concept for electrical power needs.
http://www.bakerinstitute.org/ publications/SPACE-pub- ObamaTransitionAbbeyLaneMurato re-012009.pdf
3) From the Buzz Aldrin / ATWG Policy Statement on NSS Blog
Bush VSE missed (or lacked) almost entirely any strategic vision and goals for supporting and enabling space-based human economic expansion or industrialization in space.
…proposed cabinet-level U.S. Department of Space (DOS), as discussed earlier, should manage and take charge of the government functions of supporting and incubating space-based industrial capability and transportation infrastructure development
…investing in SBSP (space based solar power) and space tourism infrastructures as a significant part of the national space economy and energy programs—is the choice of a strategic space goal that certainly will re-ignite the American spirit
4) National Space Society (NSS), [largest Space Advocacy organization] Position Paper
The National Space Society believes that one of the most important long-term solutions for meeting those energy needs is Space Solar Power (SSP), which gathers energy from sunlight in space and sends it to Earth. We believe that SSP can solve our energy and greenhouse gas emissions problems.
http://www.nss.org/ legislative/positions/NSS-SSP- PositionPaper.pdf
5) The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) [most significant space entrepreneur organization] Position
A fundamental challenge in this century is how to provide for the world's growing energy needs. In meeting this challenge, it is vital that we protect the Earth's fragile biosphere. Space Solar Power, or SSP, may be part of the energy solution. SSP could be an environmentally friendly economical energy producing technology that simultaneously promotes the human realization that the Earth is an open system and the human settlement of space.
6) The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the premier world aerospace technical society Policy Paper
The SPS is one of several potentially competitive options for providing a nondepletable source of baseload electric power in the future…The SPS appears to be technologically feasible.
http://pdf.aiaa.org// downloads/ publicpolicypositionpapers// SolarSats-1978.pdf
7) The report of the DoD/NSSO (the only interagency and independent voice for space security) Study Group's 2007 Report:
Space-Based Solar Power does present a strategic opportunity that could significantly advance US and partner security, capability, and freedom of action, and merits significant further attention on the part of the United States Government and the private sector...The SBSP Study Group concluded that SBSP requires a coordinated national program with high-level leadership and resourcing commensurate with its promise, but at least on the level of fusion energy research or International Space Station construction and operations...The SBSP Study Group concluded that should the U.S. begin a coordinated national program to develop SBSP, it should expect to find that broad interest in SBSP exists outside of the US Government, ranging from aerospace and energy industries; to foreign governments such as Japan, the EU, Canada, India, China, Russia, and others; to many individual citizens who are increasingly concerned about the preservation of energy security and environmental quality. While the best chances for development are likely to occur with US Government support, it is entirely possible that SBSP development may be independently pursued elsewhere without U.S. leadership.
http://www.nss.org/settlement/ ssp/library/final-sbsp- interim-assessment-release-01. pdf
8) The Department of Commerce, Office of Space Commercialization website currently reads:
As society seeks to identify and develop alternative energy sources for the future that are clean, safe, and continuously available, the concept of space-based solar power (SBSP) is beginning to gain traction as a potential answer to the world's long-term energy needs.
The U.S. federal government has invested over $21 Billion in fusion research in the last 50 years, and the DOE is currently spending $300 million per year on fusion energy research. When choosing a lead agency for SSP, the Administration should establish an SSP research budget within that agency that grows to at least the level of the DOE’s fusion energy research program.
http://change.gov/open_ government/entry/space_solar_ power_ssp_a_solution_for_ energy_independence_climate_ change
10) Spacefaring America White Paper on The End of Easy Energy and What to Do About It:
This paper’s assessment of the energy production potential of conventional nuclear, geothermal, wind, ground solar electric, and land biomass finds that these will fall significantly short of both the U.S.’s or the world’s 2100 sustainable energy needs. To fill the substantial sustainable energy shortfall that will emerge by 2100 as the era of easy energy ends, space solar power and algae biodiesel—absent the extensive use of advanced nuclear energy and/or undersea methane hydrates—will need to be substantially developed. Space solar power will be needed to supply most of the U.S.’s and the world’s dispatchable electrical power generation.
http://mikesnead.net/ resources/spacefaring/white_ paper_the_end_of_easy_energy_ and_what_to_do_about_it.pdf
11) Naval Research Lab Report, 2008
The NRL SBSP Study Group concurs with the conclusions of the numerous previous studies
of preceding decades that the SBSP concept is technically feasible but that there remain significant system risks in many areas...The Group concurs that SBSP offers one of several possible solutions to the energy independence and dominance of our country and our military; and that those alternative solutions (including terrestrial solar, nuclear, and wind) must be an integral part of the solution
http://www.nss.org/settlement/ ssp/library/2008-NRLSBSP- PossibleDefenseApplicationsAnd Opportunities.pdf
12) Dr. Kalam, at the time India's President, and national hero as their lead rocket scientist from both their civil and military programs, address to Boston University on the Future of Human Space Exploration:
However solar flux on earth is available for just 6-8 hours every day whereas incident radiation on space solar power station would be 24 hrs every day. What better vision can there be for the future of space exploration, than participating in a global mission for perennial supply of renewable energy from space?...Space based solar power stations have six to fifteen times greater capital utilization than equivalent sized ground solar stations. Linking Space solar power to reverse osmosis technology for large-scale drinking water supplies could be yet another major contribution of Space.
http://www.rites.com/rites- journal/A.P.J.Abdul%20kalam. pdf
13) The Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) 2007 conference recommendations:
…generate a national consensus for the Global Aerospace and Energy initiative, determine the sources and uses of funding, and evolve a suitable management structure and system to plan and implement the mission
http://www.aesi-hyd.com/ conference07/Panel_ recommendation.htm
14) Interview with Hiroaki Suzuki with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, also known as JAXA. He is one of 180 Japanese scientists working on the program, according to Scientific American.
We expect space solar panel systems will be competitive with the existing power plants in 20 to 30 years, if the space transportation cost is considerably reduced. It should be noted that solar systems do not emit CO2, nor do they create nuclear waste...We are proposing a roadmap that consists of a stepped approach to achieve 1-gigawatt-class commercial space solar panel systems in 20 to 30 years. That means 2030 would see the very beginning of commercial systems. We expect the ultimate percentage of electricity derived from space will be more than several tens of percent. By the way, Japanese total electricity generation was about 275 gigawatts or 990,000 gigawatt-hours in 2005.
http://energycentral. fileburst.com/EnergyBizOnline/ 2008-5-sep-oct/Tech_Frontier_ Solar_Space.pdf
15) ESA Advanced Concepts project summary page:
The big advantage of space based solar power collection is the 24h availability: unlike the situation on the surface of Earth, in geostationary orbit there is no night and the sun is never shadowed by clouds, rain or fog...We are therefore currently studying how e.g. space assets might best integrate into the management of future, complex energy grids with large components of renewable energy plants.
http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/ nrg/op/SPS/index.htm http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/ nrg/index.htm
16) The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE) press release:
The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE), a new organization advocating investment in space-based solar power technologies to address the planet’s future energy needs, was announced today at the National Press Club. The coalition of thirteen leading research organizations and space advocacy groups focused their inaugural event on the announcement of a new study of space-based solar power led by the National Security Space Office (NSSO)...The new Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE) will promote the findings of the NSSO-led study, and seek to communicate the benefits of the technology to business, government and the general public...The founding members of SSAFE are the National Space Society, Space Frontier Foundation, Space Power Association, Aerospace Technology Working Group, Marshall Institute, Moon Society, ShareSpace Foundation, Space Studies Institute, Spaceward Foundation, AIAA Space Colonization Technical Committee, ProSpace, Space Enterprise Council, and Space Generation Foundation.
17) Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG) Recommended Actions Paper, 2008
We judge this is not a NASA-centric aerospace technological issue. It is a national security issue, an energy security issue, an environmental solution, and an economic security issue, and, thus, needs to be addressed within a framework that includes all these dimensions, perspectives, and players, including considerable participation by private energy enterprise. The role of government should be to mature a limited number of components and processes to prove their economic and technical viability; then, step back, while continuing to support a strategy that addresses all elements of the problem. The government should lend support to this potential new industry, as done before for other fuel sources. While completing the maturing phase, the government program should work with industry to collaborate so that the private sector can pick up the costs and implement the SBSP system, if practical. This can be done in a sequence of steps with each step creating an increasing level of energy production to meet legitimate market demand profitably step by step, ultimately scaling to the level of provision of significant base load power in the U.S.http://www.atwg.org/ public/ATWG%20space-based% 20solar%20power.pdf
18) Taylor Dinerman in Space Review
In Washington lots of people have complained that the Obama Administration has so far not given the India-US relationship the attention it deserves... The one area in which there seems to be movement on, though, is a “renewable energy partnership”...Any analysis of the potential of terrestrial solar energy in India or elsewhere runs up against the awesome size of the future demand for power...they cannot by any stretch of the imagination fulfill the requirements of a huge growing economy like India’s. ...Only SSP, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year, can hope to meet this need....Fortunately both India and the US have space programs and technologies that could, if developed together and possibly with other interested nations such as Japan, bring SSP systems into service sometime late next decade or the early 2020s. With its commitment to develop a new low cost reusable spaceplane, the India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is already working on one of the key technologies needed for an SSP system. Indian participation in both private and public SSP programs should be welcomed by the US. In the near term the new Indo-US renewable energy partnership would seem to be the right place to start this collaboration. Together the partners can identify what will be needed in the way of technological and scientific investments over the next decade in order to make SSP a reality. India has lots of talent that can be committed to this effort and so does the US. In fact, the kind of ambitious idealism that we saw at NASA during the Apollo years could be engendered by this goal. Safe, clean, abundant energy from the Sun is not an impossible dream. The technology has not been perfected and the need for new, low-cost Earth-to-orbit transportation systems is as urgent as ever, but there are no requirements for any scientific breakthroughs.