Japanese company proposes to build solar power cells on the Moon to provide clean energy to Earth.


Harnessing the sun’s power is nothing new on Earth, but if a Japanese company has it’s way it will build a solar strip across the 11,000 mile Lunar equator that could supply our world with clean and unlimited solar energy for generations.

The Shimizu Corporation has set it’s sights high, 238,900 miles to be exact. Their plan is to build a sustainable source of renewable energy on the Moon’s surface.

In order to do this they will beam microwave and laser energy to giant energy conversion facilities on Earth. These beams will travel to semiconductors and inverters which will convert that energy to clean electricity to the grid that will power households, businesses and factories.

luna ring on the moon

Shimizu’s plan uses Earthly materials, ceramics, water, glass, concrete, oxygen and solar cells. They would not ship water from Earth, they will make user of the Moon’s own resources and reduce the lunar soil using hydrogen shipped from our planet and then extract the water for use in construction.

The largest solar farm on American soil is 90,000 acres or around 140 miles. Shimizu is proposing a strip of solar cells 11,000 miles long. The great wall of China stretches a massive 13,170 miles. The distance around the Earth from pole to pole is roughly 25,000 miles, this would be a very impressive construction project on Earth, let alone our celestial neighbor.


The construction of the luna ring would more than likely take place in multiple phases, possibly through 2 generations. The first step is to set up an infrastructure to get the materials needed for the project into space which would include a space port that could robotically build ships in low Earth orbit.

These ships would then get supplies from Earth and transfer them to the lunar surface where a team of robots and astronauts working in tandem would start assembling the massive power stations and solar cells that would carry power across the lunar surface using massive electric power cables.

William W.

I am an amateur astronomer with a focus on astrophotography and deep space objects. I have 15+ years in the web publishing business and over 20 years as a space enthusiast. I enjoy reading and writing about the amazing discoveries of brilliant scientists and engineers.

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32 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think he’s anticipating the quantity of greenhouse gases that will be produced by all of the launches to get the panels and equipment to the moon.

  2. Magister says:

    Japanese company to collect solar energy from the moon and send it back to Earth by laser, says company spokeman DarthVadermoto…

  3. Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How about capturing more of the solar power that falls onto Earth already, instead ?

    • JC says:

      Maybe because the Earth has clouds and a thick atmosphere that reflect and block a majority of the sun’s energy, and the Moon has none of those and is exposed to 100% of the Sun’s light? Space-based solar panels have been proposed for decades because space receives uninhibited sunlight, they have just been too expensive to carry out so far. Educate yourself please.

      • nihil says:

        and the energy collected by space solar panels is beamed to earth through…. clouds and thick atmosphere, yes?

        • Anonymous says:

          They do not block microwaves

          • Yep. This idea has existed for a long time, enough so that it even made it into SimCity 2000 as one of the top-tier Power Plants you can build (Although in SC2000 the power is transmitted from satellites in orbit, a bit easier to get going than a lunar band)

          • Jerry says:

            Are the people who designed the backup generators at Fukashima in on the design? This thing is the dumbest idea I’ve seen in years. Just the economics of the cost per pound to fly this stuff tot the moon at $10,000 a pound.

    • Z says:

      Do something useful then, genius.

  4. A massive undertaking but approachable I believe. Everything we need exists, getting the vast amount of resources needed there (a teather made of carbon tubes/appropriately strong material? or a private company breakthrough in spaceflight efficiency?) and performing the long construction is for the most logistically sound minds available (large 3d printers? machines are more useful and practical in space than humans).

    I like it because it forces you to dream about the success of the project, what a world that would be like to live in. Energy is required in every step of the manufacturing process, even the consumption or storage of the product or service in a majority of cases. If energy price is reduced in any significant percentage it will have ripple effect.

  5. Anonymous says:

    what about debris and stones n stuff in space, which collide daily with the moon, wouldn’t there be alot of damage?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure there will be some kind of drone in place that can easily replace broken panels or perform basic maintenance.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No way! NOT ON MY LAND! I bought lunar property for like $400 on some sham web-site and I will not allow this onto my property. Take it somewhere else China!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Solar cells are bound to change rapidly in the time it’d take to make this a reality. So it would have to be built a couple of times. Also the dust from all them trips and the effect on the atmosphere that sending all of that energy via beam will have. It’s a nice idea but it doesn’t really address the irreversible climate. You wanna save the world? Invent the tree that safely contains radiation and grows into a power grid. While you’re at it, keep the threat of invasion to a minimum.

  8. Anonymous says:

    and all them no fly zones it’d create.

  9. Anonymous says:

    instead of solar panels on the moon, why not build 4 space elevator around the equator of the earth, spread out evenly from each other, and attach a lot of solar panels unto them. Not only do you eliminate launches to space, you also reduce cost for sending anything into space, and there will be a direct power line from space to earth.

    • Phil says:

      That’s a good one! A nice space tether far enough to keep itself whipped out in space. Having these space access points could also highly accelerate multi-country space innovation. Such a structure could be as pivotal to a vaulting of a new era for mankind as a space-faring (and Earth-loving) society as the development of the light bulb conquered fear of the night & led to the dawn of a technologically advanced age… this century. Lets do some great things in the next 10 years, with democratic power production, personal flight & space access being just the beginning….

  10. This is really cool, but solar energy is already here now, so what are we waiting for? It’s more affordable than ever. You can see for yourself how much you could be saving with solar power. http://bit.ly/1gKEjv0

  11. “Unlike sunlight, microwaves pass through rain, clouds, dust, and smoke. Power could be supplied to the rectenna at night consisting of several thousand individual rectennas strategically located around the globe, with a total area of 100,000 km2, could continuously provide the 20 TW of electric power, or 2 kW per person, required for a prosperous world of 10 billion people in 2050.”

    “This surface area is 5% of the surface area that would be needed on Earth to generate 20 TW using the most advanced terrestrial solar-array technology of similar average capacity now envisioned.”

    “The surface of Earth’s moon receives 13,000 TW of absolutely predictable solar power. ”

    “The waste products present in the lunar surface are silicon, iron, TiO2, etc. These products can be used as raw materials for solar cell fabrication.”

    “Lunar dust can be used directly as thermal, electrical, and radiation shields, converted into glass, fiberglass, and ceramics, and processed chemically into its elements. Solar cells, electric wiring, some micro-circuitry components, and the reflector screens can be made out of lunar materials.”

  12. Anonymous says:

    No need for a band of solar panels, just put the transmission tower and a large array of panels on the side of the moon that constantly faces earth.

  13. Daws says:

    I…kinda like how the moon looks now. Can’t we just do a satellite array, or put them on the side that never faces the earth? There’s the view of over 6 billion people to respect.

    • Scott says:

      Sorry but I’m afraid your view might have to suffer, I know this project is a long way from reality but don’t you think it’s a bit daft yo say you like the way it looks when it could potentially provide power for the entire planet?

    • sarah says:

      Uhhhh…that’s the dark side of the moon.

  14. htan68 says:

    Before project completion, humans already migrated to Mars lol

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t High Orbit be much or economical with less bleed off?

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