Solves all problems with PV Electricity generation
- Problem 1) Cost of generation: Despite dramatic PV panel and system price reductions in recent years, today's Solar PV electricity is still expensive. Investors still need the support of substantial government subsidies and mandates for the foreseeable future. StratoSolar's 3X to10X higher utilization factor reduces PV generated electricity cost to a fraction of ground PV generation and substantially less than fossil fuel generation. This eliminates the need for subsidies and mandates and solves the cost of generation problem.
- Problem 2) Long duration multi-day Intermittency: Clouds and bad weather can block sunlight for days to weeks. For PV on the ground, coping with this random long duration intermittency requires either expensive backup fossil fuel generation capacity or excess clean energy generation capacity combined with excess long distance transmission capacity. These additional elements each cost more than PV generation and increase the overall cost of generated electricity by several multiples. StratoSolar is above clouds and weather and provides uninterrupted generation during daylight hours, directly solving the daytime intermittency problem. There is no need for costly backup generation, excess capacity or long distance transmission.
- Problem 3) Night Time Generation: There is no electricity storage solution that can provide cost competitive night time electricity today. StratoSolar includes low cost gravity energy storage, enabled by the high altitude of StratoSolar platforms. The energy storage medium is weights of water which are cheap scalable and sustainable. This solves the night time generation problem.
- Problem 4) Geography: Solar energy is abundant in southern deserts where there are no people and scarce near northern urban areas where most people are located. Exploiting deserts means using expensive long distance electricity transmission. StratoSolar exploits abundant solar energy near urban areas, eliminating the need for additional long distance transmission. This solves the geographic location problem and provides energy security to geographies that are dependent on fossil fuel imports like Europe and China.
- Problem 5) Liquid Fuels: Electricity alone is not a complete energy solution. Electricity generation needs to be cheap enough to enable the synthesis of affordable liquid fuels for transportation and long term seasonal energy storage. StratoSolar's initial low cost for electricity, combined with the historical cost reduction roadmap, quickly leads to a sustainable, complete energy solution that includes affordable synthetic fuels, cheaper than todays fossil fuels.