In Short Sharp Science*, a Science blog from New Scientist, Paul Marks discusses using a Space Elevator to facilitate the creation of Space Solar power satellites.
Peter Swan, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is quoted:
“Half the cost of everything you put in space is down to the launch cost,” former spaceflight engineer Peter Swan told the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow, UK, in October 2008. “The economics of space-based solar power don’t work with current launch costs. So we have to figure out how to do it without chemical launch.”
Long-time readers know that I’m personally skeptical of Space Solar Power (SSP) ever being more than a niche-application provider of power; there’s just too darn much stuff you have to put into space to supply more than an insignificant amount of our planet’s needs. But if your serious about SSP, then I think you have to be a supporter of the concept of a Space Elevator; nothing else has a chance of being scalable to the order of magnitude necessary to make the idea of Space Solar Power feasible (IMHO, of course)…