China is expected to be the world's first country to build a practical solar power station in space, as long as it keeps investing in research and development, according to Li Ming, a research fellow from China Academy of Space Technology.
"China's entered the top ranks in research of space solar power after decades of research which has significantly narrowed the gap with other leading countries," Li Ming told Science and Technology Daily on Wednesday.
Compared to fossil fuel, which causes severe environmental pollution and will soon be exhausted, space solar power is more efficient, clean and sustainable, said Li. It can generate massive energy through the space power station and transmit them back to the Earth, which is also superior to the ground-based solar or wind power facilities which are affected by the natural factors.
The U.S., Japan, and Russia have all made huge investment in this area, and the space departments of India, South Korea, and Europe are also conducting related research, said Li.
China has undertaken the research of space solar power since 2008, with a number of major breakthroughs in wireless energy transmission achieved.
According to Wang Li, another research fellow with the CAST, experts from both home and abroad are confident about China's leading role in this field.
Apart from the technology, the construction of the space solar-power station also needs huge investment, broad market and support from government, all three factors other countries think China can deliver, Wang said.
Space solar power will ease environmental and energy pressure on China, and also spur the country's innovation and emerging industries, Wang added.