With the recent discussions around net-zero and surge pricing in the UK, energy is now front-page news.

We all accept that fossil fuel is not a sustainable form of energy, and renewable energy such as solar and wind have issues – when it is cloudy or calm.

To sustain the energy needs of a country like the UK or Australia, we need a “baseload” technology that can provide a sustained demand for power.

This event was part of The Institution of Engineers Australia UK Chapter’s monthly “Spring Forward” hybrid lecture series to look at a potential new form of energy – Space-Based Solar Power.

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The concept is not new – it was first mooted by Isaac Asimov as science fiction in the 1940s, and in 1968, Dr Peter Glaser of Arthur D. Little introduced the concept of using microwaves for power transmission from geosynchronous orbit to an Earth-based rectifying antenna (rectenna).

Since then, technology has advanced on several fronts to remove some of the technological and economic barriers to practical full-scale implementation.

On February 10, 2022, I moderated a fascinating discussion between some of the world’s leading space and energy industry experts on this topic:

Martin Soltau Co-Chair Space Energy Initiative & Space Business Lead at Frazer-Nash Consultancy

Dr Alice Bunn CEO Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Sam Adlen Chief Strategy Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult and

Ali Stickings Space Strategy lead at Fraser Nash Consultancy

We were also joined by Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Space, and Chair of The Space Energy Initiative Advisory Board.

Nick Wayth Chief Executive at Energy Institute also provided an interesting perspective from the audience.

Do you need an event host?

This is my fifth collaboration with the Engineers Australia UK Chapter. For each event, I produced the show, developed the topic and questions, interviewed the guests live and also live-streamed the whole event.

For this event, I provided a 3 camera setup and live-streamed direct to YouTube. I researched the topic, wrote all the questions, liaised with all the panellists using a shared document, and produced the show on the day – just as I do for all of my corporate clients.

If you are looking for someone who can host your event and deeply understands the impact of changing technology on business and society, please get in touch to see how we might collaborate.

Issues covered

  • How Space-Based power actually works
  • The opportunity for generating power from space
  • How to overcome challenges in commercialising this technology
  • How space-based solar power contributes to the net-zero debate
  • The future of space-based solar power generation
  • How Space solar power gives Governments options
  • Solar power vs Nuclear Fusion
  • What will the solution cost?
  • The regulatory risks
  • The role of Government
  • The security concerns
  • Who regulates the space segment
  • The spin-off benefits
  • What are other countries doing?
  • The UK-Australia Space Bridge
  • The Space Energy Initiative
  • The job creation opportunities
  • Nick Wayth Chief Executive at Energy Institute comments
  • Audience question: How can the UK maintain a lead in this area?
  • Audience question: What is happening in Australia?
  • Audience question: What can go wrong?
  • Mark Garnier MP closing remarks