I had a whole post about this in the tesla thread.
This is where the best and brightest minds should have been in the 80's: space based. Why so late?
In the usa, solar industry is stuck in the 70's. Inefficient, outdated tech. Nothing changed.
Power a house on solar in 70s? A million bucks.
Try it now? A half million.
A "hipple" living "off the grid" on solar takes a wheelbarrow of money. Why?
But what if we perfected it in space? Sagan and Hawking theorized on this in their writings, but hesitantly--and even once each I can remember.
Logistics, as Justin confirmed go like this: old technology, insane bulk, wide wide reflector span, weight. Would need to be debris-resistant and meteorite fragment-proof. Once tech is dialed in we might need 15 in space just to power a single nation-state's vehicle supply or public transport.
And that's if hostile actors can't take some out easily with sandbags (a real thing I read).
Having lived in all desert terrains., i knew as a child this could all be harnessed.
When and how, though?
Let the good times roll on this thread. All the crap that came out of my mouth is based on cursory research and anecdote. I know 1000 people know 1000X more than I...