I have discussed before on this blog that a massive amount of energy could be harnessed by space-based solar panels. In science fiction, a massive sphere of solar panels located around a star is known as a Dyson Sphere.
Now, Earth is making its first leap in that direction. California's Pacific Gas & Electric has tentatively signed a deal with Solaren, a start-up that promises to launch and maintain an orbital solar collector, capable of sending 200 Megawatts of energy to earth over 15 years.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while can imagine my ten paragraph diatribe about insurmountable technological hurdles being ignored for the sake of politicians who appear to be "doing something dammit!" The can imagine me complaining about space dust blocking the mirror arrays, or about trying to get the mirror arrays stable enough for precision transmission of sunlight, or about the photocells degrading quickly because of the massive amount of energy being generated by them. The regular reader can imagine my face when I think about the engineers who claim this is feasible, and how irresponsible it is to do things like this when environmentally friendly energy is readily available on the terrestrial surface, if people would just have the wherewithal to build it. You can imagine me thinking about how much this will cost taxpayers. You can imagine my sarcastic comment about the debris from the collided satellites could easily destroy this solar array, and if California was depending on that power, brownouts could occur for months until terrestrial backup power could be acquired. You can imagine me not being a fan. Then you can imagine my final words being something like "although this technology is cool and futuristic, I think we should be solving our terrestrial problems first, then working on space-based problems later." You can imagine me linking to my previous eviscerations of pointless, expensive Mars missions and mega-telescopes used to find exoplanets we'll never reach and how against another manned moon trip I am.
I guess I'll believe it when I look up in the sky and see it.