It sounds like something out of science fiction – a huge swathe of the moon covered with solar panels to beam captured energy back to Earth.
But plans to turn the moon into a gigantic mirrorball manned by robots to provide all the Earth’s energy came a step closer to reality today when they were unveiled by Japanese scientists.
The ambitious project would result in 13,000 terawatts of continuous solar energy being transmitted back to receiving stations on Earth, either by laser or microwave.
The plans were unveiled by Japanese construction giant Shimizu Corporation‘s research division, and would result in a 6,800 mile-long band stretching around the light side of the moon’s equator.
It would measure up to 248 miles in width and feature 12 mile-wide antennae to transmit the power.
The quest for finding alternate energy sources has been hastened in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power station crisis sparked by the tsunami in March.
No intended timeline for the project – which would result in the biggest public infrastructure installation ever constructed – has been announced.