The Eye of Sauron, the giant turbine and electricity from space

The Ashalim solar power plant, completed in 2019, stands in the Negev desert in Israel. More than 250 m high, the tower, topped by a luminous sphere, supplies electricity to 120,000 homes. It also houses a thermal and gas power plant. Reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the power station is, to its supporters, an impressive engineering achievement and a testament to Israeli innovation in the field of solar energy. According to critics, on the other hand, it is an expensive, technology-dependent invention based on solutions that are already outdated.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA’s 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine prototype at its test centre in Østerild, Denmark, generated 359 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 24 hours. This is a record for the highest power generated by wind in a day. In comparison, each resident of New York consumes 13,452 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a year (1 megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts).

Emrod is a New Zealand technology company working on wireless power transmission. According to its staff, in 10 years at the earliest it will be possible to commercially, wirelessly transmit energy to Earth from space-mounted solar panels via electromagnetic radiation. This would be a beneficial solution in times of climate crisis. The company has just reported the successful wireless transmission of energy from a transmitter to a receiver over a distance of 36 m in a room operated by the aviation company Airbus S.A.S. in Munich.

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