28 November 2002 – An international think tank examining safe options for meeting demand for energy over the next twenty years has argued for the development of wireless energy transmission and the promotion of carbon sequestration.

The Millennium Project involves 1000 futurists, scholars, business leaders, scientists and policymakers from 50 countries, serving as a think tank under the auspices of the American Council for the United Nations University. The group examined the challenge of meeting rising energy demand from safe and efficient sources without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Electricity demand will grow significantly, and oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could use their oil and gas to generate power that would be beamed by satellite to receivers in other countries, perfecting the technology of wireless energy transmission via microwaves that was demonstrated by NASA in 1967.

“This has the great benefit of reducing potential catastrophic oil spills, managing pollution more locally, and eventually opening up new energy sources such solar panels in earth orbit,” says project director Jerome Glenn. The long-term goal would be to beam down solar energy from space to remote sites around the world.

The Millennium Project is discussing the option with oil companies, which has stimulated grants from the National Science Foundation. The group also support carbon sequestration to remove CO2 from the air, which would address the need to mitigate emissions from transportation vehicles.

“If research in carbon sequestration and wireless transmission of energy becomes serious, then one day oil producers could become electricity suppliers to the world without adding greenhouse gases and a global energy grid could be in space orbit,” adds Glenn. “By 2020, the world faces serious challenges in the global electricity supply, especially in areas of massive urban concentrations.”

World energy consumption is expected to increase 57 per cent by 2020 and to triple by 2050, and the US Department of Energy expects 40 per cent of the increase to 2020 will come from oil, with lesser amounts from natural gas and coal. Such a trend would increase carbon emissions to 9.9 billion metric tonne by 2020, doubling over the past 20 years.