Energy Research in Japan targets solar lasers.

solar lasers

I just read an article on the Japanese energy industry and it has kind of freaked me out a bit.  

It appears that Japan have been working on some technology that will capture solar energy in space.

The idea is to collect the sun’s rays , transmit the energy via concentrated microwave beams down to earth, where the energy is collected,  stored, then distribute.

My initial thoughts were ‘oh, very cool’.

Then I started to think about the ramifications of concentrated microwaves and the idea didn’t seem so cool any more.

“Freakin’ Laser Beams”



I only need to look down at my fingers now as I write this post on my laptop to be reminded that the concept of computers came from early 20th century sci-fi, shows such as ‘Lost in Space’.

Where the notion of a mechanical device ‘thinking’ intuitively was so way out there that it was considered fantastical and fictional, hence the term sci-fi.  


Yet, here I am, as are a g-zillion others, using that idea everyday; we don’t even consider the notion that computers didn’t exist a milli-moment ago in our human time line.


So, with that in mind, who is to say that the technology behind this renewable energy mode; which on the surface seems like an altruistic cause for the survival of all mankind, won’t in the near future be weaponised and become the catalyst for the ‘apocalypse’ that so many modern sci-fi movies and shows are based on?


The article I read mentioned that the energy captured would be directed to earth in concentrated lasers or microwave streams.  (Laser beams).

For the beam to be sustained from the thermosphere to the earth receival centre, then processed for use, the concentration would have to be extremely high. This is where my concerns kick in.

Such huge concentrations cannot be healthy.  

Even if you don’t go down the conspiracy theory pathway, that much concentrated radiation cannot be safe.  

I for one, would not be comfortable living near that processing plant.

We have already heard of health problems occurring from household microwave leakages, and the concentration levels from the kitchen microwave cannot possibly be anywhere close to that of a gigantic stream from space.  ??  

Maybe I’m wrong.  It does happen 😉  Who knows.


What we don’t know, can hurt us.

The thing is, that no-one really knows what the long term affects will be.

That is another part of the problem.  

We are forever being used as guinea pigs in the wheel of progress and it is only after the fact; when people start presenting with horrible illnesses that we recognise the implications of some of our inventions.  

Take, nuclear power for example.

We all ‘know’ this to be ‘clean’ energy.  Well, I don’t think it is, but that is what the propaganda would have us believe.

Sure, when all is going well the actual production of energy is clean.

BUT, the hazardous by-products produced are definitely not clean and the potential for catastrophic events is now common history.

My point is, we are always placed at the mercy of the higher powers and the decisions they make on our behalf.

When it comes to technology and processes that may have a negative impact, surely there is someone out there that should be saying ‘Whoa Nelly’ let’s think about this for a bit.

The technology was created in 1968,  so you could be forgiven for thinking  they have had plenty of time to think about it and so it must be OK, right?

Sure, that is one take on it.

I tend to think that if the technology was good it would out way the cost and we would already be using this form of energy capture.


Get out your tin foil caps

I just can’t get past all the sci-fi shows that show people hijacking satellites and re-directing lasers to ‘take-out’ entire cities.

Sure totally, conspiracy theorist paranoia.

But like I said, life has a way of imitating art or in this case science fiction.

Not to mention what would happen if an asteroid took out the satellite; the country would be totally out of power.

Why do we need to look at such costly and crazy options.  Why not take the money that is going into the R&D for this project and spend it on solar farms that can be set up right now; on Terra Firma.

I mean, consider how many roof tops there are in Japan, and how many mountains and areas of vacant, uninhabitable land do they have?  Surely enough to install solar farms.

Imagine, If all the building had solar panels on the roofs and down the sides, and these panels were set to track the sun.

Surely that would work?

Why spend all that money on research when the tech is already available here on earth?


Maybe I am missing some key data…probably.  But it just seems silly to me.


Any way,

until next time,

stay safe.


Robyn Williams