The night sky of with a full Moon, stars and some cloud

Lunar Panels?!

Could we soon be using the light of the Moon as a source of energy?…

We know the Sun’s light and heat is the source of solar energy in order to generate electricity, or heat water and spaces.

We also know that ways of storing solar energy for use at night are being developed, with some already in use.

However, nighttime brings its own light. Moonlight!

Could the light from a full Moon provide enough light energy to generate electricity?

Well, the Moon doesn’t give off its own light, but rather reflects the Sun’s light. So already, it would still be solar power being used, just reflected off of the Moon first.

However, one Japanese construction company put forward a plan to make a solar belt to go around the Moon! The advantage of this would be that the Moon is constantly in the Sun’s light (except during a lunar eclipse), so power could be harnessed 24/7.

lunar panels stretch along the surface of the moon with earth in distance
‘Lunar panels’ stretching across the surface of the Moon. Photo credit – Phys.org

The energy would be sent back through microwaves (actual microwaves, not the appliance in your kitchen!) to receivers placed all over the world. These receivers would change the microwaves into electricity that can be used in the home, and distribute the energy to nearby cities and towns.

There would obviously be massive challenges to overcome, such as the people and materials needed to build such a big structure, and carrying everything to the Moon!

Who knows, maybe all the energy the Earth needs will be generated from solar panels on the Moon in your lifetime!

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