Solar from Space? New Advancements and How it Might Happen

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In an intriguing leap forward, Oxfordshire-based company Space Solar has successfully demonstrated the world’s first 360-degree beam steering technology for space-based solar power. The goal for this new technology is to revolutionise the way we generate and supply energy, aiming to powering over a million homes by the 2030s.

This article is part of our new Solar Tech Explained Series. Here we’ll be regularly providing insight into new and old technologies within the solar sphere.

The Space Solar Testing Laborotory
Image: New solar technology may pave the way forwards, offering a way of transmitting solar energy through the atmosphere (Credit: Space Solar)

The Technology and Its Development

The prototype showcased the ability to wirelessly transmit power with minimal energy loss. This was demonstrated by steering a wireless beam across a lab to power a light. The successful demonstration took place in March 2024, marking a significant milestone in the development of space-based solar power. This achievement underscores the potential of capturing solar energy in space, where light intensity is higher and uninterrupted by atmospheric conditions, to generate energy consistently and efficiently.

How It Works

The envisioned space solar farm will consist of a mile-wide array of mirrors and solar panels orbiting 22,000 miles above Earth. This system, named CASSIOPeiA, is designed to rotate continuously towards the sun, ensuring maximum sunlight capture at all times. The captured energy will then be transmitted to Earth using the 360-degree beam steering technology. This method offers a reliable and consistent energy source, with the potential to capture 13 times more energy than ground-based solar panels due to the absence of atmospheric interference and constant exposure to sunlight.

Efficiency and Energy Loss

One of the key benefits of space-based solar power is its efficiency. Solar panels in space can capture significantly more energy compared to those on the ground, thanks to the higher light intensity and the absence of atmospheric interference. Even though some energy is lost during the transmission back to Earth, the overall efficiency remains higher than terrestrial solar power. This makes space-based solar power an attractive option for providing a stable baseload to complement intermittent renewable sources like wind and ground-based solar.

Timeline for Implementation

The project aims to operationalize space-based solar power by the 2030s. Building the space solar farm will be a complex and challenging task, requiring over 60 rocket launches and a team of robot builders. Despite these logistical challenges, the project’s timeline remains ambitious yet achievable. The successful demonstration of the prototype within eight months from the initial concept meeting highlights the project’s rapid progress and the team’s capability to meet stringent deadlines.

Potential Impact

Space-based solar power could revolutionize our energy systems by providing a stable baseload to complement intermittent renewable sources. Currently, nuclear energy and gas turbines provide the baseload for the grid but produce radioactive waste or carbon dioxide, respectively. In contrast, space-based solar power offers a clean, renewable alternative that can generate power around the clock. This makes it an attractive option for addressing energy security and sustainability while aligning with global net-zero targets.

Future Prospects

The potential benefits of space-based solar power are immense. By the 2030s, Space Solar aims to provide a reliable energy source to more than a million homes, significantly contributing to global energy needs. The technology could also play a crucial role in advancing energy security and sustainability, setting a precedent for future space-based energy solutions. As global energy demand continues to grow, space-based solar power could become a key component of our renewable energy infrastructure, helping to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and secure energy future.


The advancements in space-based solar power demonstrate the innovative potential of renewable energy technologies. The successful demonstration of 360-degree beam steering technology marks a significant step forward in harnessing solar energy from space. As we move towards a sustainable future, such breakthroughs will play a crucial role in ensuring a reliable and clean energy supply.

About PowerMarket

PowerMarket is a leading software platform empowering commercial property owners to enhance their buildings’ profitability and sustainability.

PowerMarket’s AI-driven software precisely forecasts the solar potential and financial return on investment (ROI) for buildings in both large and small property portfolios. This capability allows companies to make informed decisions about solar expansion.

More recently, PowerMarket has started facilitating zero-cost financing for solar installations and enables the trading of surplus solar energy generated on-site.

Recognised as a leading energy-tech company in Europe by the Financial Times, PowerMarket is supported by the European Space Agency and Oxford University.

Further Reading

For more detailed information on the Space Solar project, you can visit their official site at

If you would like to know more about recent news, check out the UK’s latest solar developments on this blog post.

Solar PV is set to surpass all other technologies combined in investment worldwide this year. Read more in this PowerMarket Article.

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