Japan's JAXA space authority is now seriously investing time in the sci-fi concept of the orbital solar array, announcing a plan that could eventually culminate in a 1-gigawatt space solar relay being in place by the 2030s.
The complex plan would see a massive solar panel delivering energy back to Earth via a precisely targeted microwave transmission that a base station could translate back into usable energy. It'll require quite a leap in technology, though, as the current plan is to test the concept this year by beaming a few 100 watts over a distance of 50 metres. That's enough power to run one Xbox and a TV for 90 minutes. [Spectrum via io9]