Emerging Technologies


Solar Power Satellite (SPS)

Session background and objectives

This session focuses Solar Power Satellite (SPS), which generates electricity with abundant solar radiation in space and transmit the power to a receiver on the earth surface for consumption. The SPS will provide carbon-free power for the base load on a mass scale. In recent years, there have been developments in feasible system designs and R&D; of key technologies for wireless power transmission. In this session, the followings will be discussed, 1) the overview of the SPS, 2) the key technologies, and 3) the strategy for SPS deployment in order to cultivate ideas for R&D; and realization of the SPS.


Hiroshi Matsumoto [Chair]

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President, RIKEN

John C. Mankins

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President, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC


Space Solar: A Transformational Opportunity for A Cool Earth

There is an urgent need to mitigate the looming risk of climate change while meeting the energy demands of increasing populations and improving economic conditions. In the judgment of many experts, these potentially-conflicting goals are unlikely to be accomplished solely through the use of already-existing technologies. Among other technologies, solar power satellites (SPS) remain one of the most promising, but as yet largely undeveloped options to accomplish these goals. A novel concept, the updated SPS via Arbitrarily Large Phased Array (“SPS-ALPHA Mark-II”) presents a realistic opportunity to accomplish space solar – delivering 100s of gigawatts of carbon-free energy by mid-century.

Tadashi Takano

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Visiting Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering, Nihon University


R&D; Strategy for SPSS

The COP 21 requires no total emission of man-made CO2 gas, which necessitates new energy systems without fossil fuel. A solar power satellite system (SPSS) is one of powerful solutions. At this stage, we have to show realistic SPSS models looking back R&D; activities in the past.
In the future, we should demonstrate sending a weak beamed power from a satellite  to earth, then increasing the power, and finally the system integrity of the commercial satellite. As an SPSS is a huge system, its R&D; plan is deliberated to lessen the cost and risks, and to satisfy business conditions.

Darel Preble

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President and Executive Director, Space Solar Power Institute


An Overview of Space Solar Power(SSP)

Global efforts to coerce lower CO2 alternative energy sources onto electric power grids have seen $2 Trillion spent over the last twenty years subsidizing "all of the above" energy technologies, mostly windmills and ground solar. But CO2 is increasing more rapidly, electric power costs are rising, and reliability is declining as intermittent sources are added. SSP must be added to our energy mix to effectively address rising global CO2. It deserves global support. Comsat & Intelsat created our immensely successful $330 Billion/yr global communications satellite industry and an power satellite industry would be a hundred times larger.

Naoki Shinohara

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Professor, Kyoto University


Current R&D; of SPS in Japan SPS from Commercial MPT Applications

A Solar Power Satellite (SPS) is considered as one of hopeful future space system and future stable power station without CO2 emission. However, people consider that the SPS cannot be built within suitable cost because the SPS is huge space system. So currently in Japan, there are two way to promote the SPS. One is R&D; project toward the SPS supported by JAXA and METI. The other is R&D; toward commercial microwave power transfer system as spin off technology of the SPS. In Japan, simultaneous approach of the top-down and bottom-up is considered as a short cut to the SPS.


1. Challenges for commercialization of SPS

  • For successful deployment of SPS, SPS must be economically viable, however, there are challenges for commercializing SPS.
    • What are the obstacles for the commercialization?
    • What are the necessary actions for overcoming them?

2. Challenges on innovating technology for the commercialization of SPS

  • The commercialization of SPS needs technological innovation.
    • What kind of innovation is necessary for the commercialization of SPS?

3. Challenges on international cooperation for operation of SPS

  • The deployment of SPS also needs international cooperation.
  • What kind of international cooperation is necessary for the practical use of SPS?

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