By the year 2050 more than 10 billion people will inhabit our planet. The world will have to provide over 60,000 GW to support this population at the level the developed nations currently enjoy. This is not possible due to several reasons: the primary energy sources are inadequate; the power systems will not be able to provide power continuously; the power systems will be too expensive; or long-lived contaminants become a dominant concern.
A good world environment can be provided in 2050 only if their source power is clean, reasonably priced, and independent of the biosphere. The global power needs for several centuries can be met by providing solar power to Earth from bases in Earth orbit or on the Moon.
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Last Modified: Fri Apr 4 1997
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