When Tetsuji Yoshida initially unveiled a revolutionary strategy to create solar power on the moon last year, the news received little fanfare. Yoshida envisioned a “lunar ring” or belt created up of solar panels positioned across the moon’s equator that could power all of planet Earth.

The president of space consulting group CSP Japan, a subsidiary of Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corporation, says his plan was featured on NASA’s Lunar Science Institute web site. Nonetheless it did not generate considerably interest beyond that.

That is, until March 11, when a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daichi Power Plant, raising severe questions regarding the country’s energy policy.

Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors create 30 percent from the nation’s power provide, but with additional than half of them idle because of safety issues, the Japanese are looking to substitute types of power to power the country. And lunar solar power is emerging as a possible source.

“It’s been really quiet for about a year, so it really is surprising to acquire this interest, 1 year later,” Yoshida mentioned. Scientists have looked to space as a gold mine for clean power for decades. Yoshida says American scientist Peter Glaser 1st proposed placing solar panels in space back in 1968, and NASA started homework on it a decade later.

Lunar Ring and Solarbird Are Most current Efforts to Produce Energy From Space

The moon is observed as prime place for solar energy because there exists nearly no atmosphere, which means no bad weather or clouds to maintain the sun’s rays from the panels. Even in the most perfect conditions, Yoshida says solar panels on Earth can only produce one-twentieth from the energy made in outer space.