So we took the feedback to heart, evaluated alternatives and came up with a system that reduced risks and costs and provided a scalable solution. In recent years Photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation has improved the most of all the alternative energy technologies and has acquired significant market momentum. Combining this technology improvement with the benefits of positioning a PV system at 20km altitude improves the economics of PV to where it can be economic without subsidy. While there is as yet no economically viable electricity storage option, the uninterrupted and highly predictable nature of the electricity produced greatly facilitates the integration of alternative energy into the grid. These benefits are particularly apparent for cloudy northern latitudes, which is coincidentally where most of the developed and developing world is situated.
The system can be developed and tested on a small scale, for a small investment and then ramp incrementally to a large scale with income arriving immediately for each increment. The system is simple and passive with few elements and its exposure to risk from extreme weather is very low.
The recent pullback from nuclear power in Japan and Germany highlights the opportunity for scalable cost effective alternative energy.