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article imageJapan plans to turn the Moon into a giant power plant

By Michael Thomas     Nov 29, 2013 in World
The Moon will soon be more than just a pretty sight in the night sky if Japan-based Shimizu Corp has its way. The company plans to use Earth's moon as a hub for solar energy production.
The Irish Independent reports that the plan would see the construction of a 6,800-mile-long "belt" of solar panels, dubbed the "Luna Ring." Generated energy would then reach Earth via microwave or laser transmission.
Should the project go ahead, the amount of energy generated would be massive. Shimizu Corp. says the Luna Ring could generate 13,000 terawatts of energy in one year. To put that number into perspective, the US produced 4,100 terawatts of energy in 2011.
The company has not yet mentioned how much the project would cost, but says that if it receives the proper funding, it could be underway by 2035 at the earliest.
The idea for the Luna Ring came about before the disaster at the Fukushima power plant, which now has employees tasked with the dangerous job of removing fuel rods from the reactor. However, the idea is seeing renewed interest given Japan's move away from nuclear power generation.
"A shift from economical use of limited resources to the unlimited use of clean energy is the ultimate dream of mankind," Shimizu said on its website. "The Luna Ring ... translates this dream into reality through ingenious ideas coupled with advanced space technologies."
Robots and automated equipment would be responsible for mining the moon's resources and building the appropriate solar cells.
More about Japan, the moon, Solar energy, Renewable energy, shimizu corp
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