A single large five-gigawatt solar power satellite can power a large city while producing zero carbon dioxide and zero radioactive waste - and do so at a cost competitive with coal, and cheaper than nuclear or Earth-based solar power.
The primary reason that no one has yet built a solar power satellite is simply that they are large and heavy, and thus prohibitively expensive to launch from Earth. While new, commercial launchers from companies such as SpaceX promise to drop that cost by a factor of ten - making space-based solar power possible - the reality is that by using the resources of asteroids to construct the solar power satellites in orbit where they are needed, much of the launch cost is eliminated.
A single five-gigawatt solar power satellite can generate $1.3 Billion per year in revenue, assuming a wholesale energy cost of $0.03/kwh (you likely pay a retail price of $0.10/kwh).
But a single small asteroid such as Apophis (it's only 270 meters across) has sufficient resources to build 150 of these cash-generating power stations - equal to $195B in annual revenue.
The market for SBSP is much larger than this. At present, civilization consumes two trillion kilowatts of electric power, and the demand is growing faster than new coal-burning power plants can be built. For example, China alone currently has 400 new power plants under construction to supply the energy needed to fuel their growing economy.
Asteroid resources are simply the best way to supply clean, low-cost energy to the Earth.
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