Space chiefs are to investigate whether electricity could be transferred wirelessly from space into millions of homes.
This week, the European Space Agency will likely approve a three-year study to see if having huge solar farms in space could work and be cost-effective.
The ultimate aim is to have giant satellites in orbit, each able to generate the same amount of electricity as a power station.
ESA’s governing council will be considering the idea at its Paris HQ on Tuesday.
While several organizations and other space agencies have considered the idea, the so-called Solaris initiative would be the first to lay the ground for a practical plan to develop a space-based renewable energy generation system.
The program is one of several proposals being considered by research ministers at the ESA’s council meeting which will decide the budget for the next phase of the space agency’s plans for space exploration, communication, and environmental monitoring.
The ESA is seeking funds from its member nations for the Solaris research program, to see if these developments mean that it is now possible to develop space-based solar power dependably and cheaply enough to make it economically feasible.