China is planning to build the world’s first solar-powered space station. They hope to reach a source of “inexhaustible clean energy” for their space station. China claims to have tested the technology and expect to build the space station by 2050.
“We plan to launch four to six tethered balloons from the testing base and connect them with each other to set up a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. These balloons will collect sunlight and convert solar energy to microwave before beaming it back to Earth. Receiving stations on the ground will convert such microwaves to electricity and distribute it to a grid.”
In 1968, aerospace engineer Peter Glaser proposed the concept of a power-generating platform in geostationary orbit, but in terms of development there were to many technological and financial hurdles.