How does the space sector help energy supply on Earth?
Basically, in two ways. First, through technological know-how in solar energy, hydrogen or energy efficiency. Secondly, through essential data from satellites in space – with our products as mission-critical elements for many of these satellites.
Solar cells – now widely used on Earth – experienced their breakthrough only through space. For hydrogen, promising as a future propulsion for vehicles or aircraft, the space sector can contribute its decades of experience with liquid hydrogen in rockets. Another area of space expertise is energy efficiency. ESA vividly explains why: “In space we cannot afford to lose even a watt of energy. Space engineers are probably the most energy-conscious scientists on Earth.” The space sector can contribute methods to cut heat loss, reducing energy needs, or to remove waste heat – such as keeping batteries cool to increase their effectiveness.
Keeping power grids stable
Every day satellites provide essential data that keep our energy supply running, make it safer and more efficient. Space data help synchronizing our increasingly decentralized energy supply (more and more wind and solar power plants in remote locations). Without the time signals from navigation satellites, entire power grids would become unstable – with outages or blackouts as a result.