Space on the outer limits of finance

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One of the more ambitious proposals to solve our energy crisis and reach Net Zero is SBSP or Space Based Solar Power. It involves building a giant solar panel in space to collect the sun’s energy and using radio waves to beam it back to Earth, which is then collected in an even larger rectenna “grid” below.

The technology would provide power day and night, year-round, regardless of the weather, and feed 2 gigawatts of power into the grid, equivalent to a nuclear power plant.

The idea was discussed at a meeting at the FT Investing in Space conference. in this week. An independent study The UK government has estimated the cost at a reasonable £16bn, but it would take until 2040 before it could be properly commissioned as technologies were developed for robotic assembly of the panels in space.

“Although the investment is not that large, the timeframe for realizing a return on this investment is quite long,” Surrey University Professor Sir Martin Sweeting said at the conference. “So the public sector could launch it with a demonstration and that will then give the private sector the confidence to play a bigger role.”

The long timescales for space development and the ability of companies and their technologies to scale were recurring themes of the conference. Mark Boggett, chief executive of Seraphim, a UK-based space investment firm, said the UK is in a good position to do so – behind only the US and China in the number of space start-ups and venture capital investments of this magnitude to a third of the entire European market.

George Freeman, UK Science Secretary, said Britain has the post-Brexit benefits of freedom to source and regulate without the constraints of EU membership. On the other hand stands his Exclusion from the EU’s Copernicus earth observation program although it may continue to play an important role in the European Space Agency.

To be at odds with Europe Amendments to the Northern Ireland Protocol did not help to resolve differences. While the political will to develop space technology is there, international cooperation is still lacking.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Japan taps into retirement funds for startups
As the UK seeks to support its burgeoning space sector, Japan plans to tap the world’s largest pension fund’s $1.5 trillion to build a much-needed domestic start-up culture. The cabinet unveiled the “magnificent design” of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s “new capitalism” agenda and announced a push for the giant state pension investment fund to increase funding for start-ups.

2. The Netherlands say don’t fund old chip technology
In February, the European Commission presented the so-called Chips Act, a €43 billion investment plan that would use state aid to boost research and production of high-tech chips. But the Netherlands has warned the EU against dumping taxpayers’ money behind legacy technology. “It would be a Waste of our talents and money if we tried to have a company in every country making yesterday’s chips,” said Dutch ambassador to the EU, Michael Stibbe.

3. The UK regulator is targeting Apple and Alphabet
The UK competition authority is planning an investigation into Apple and Google’s market power in phone browsers and cloud games after a year-long study that found the two companies had a ‘stranglehold’ on the market. The Competition and Markets Authority is considering launching a market investigation that would give it sweeping powers to tackle Google and Apple’s dominance of mobile phone systems.

4. Tech keeps hiring
The end of the tech boom has triggered a spate of job cuts as companies quickly tighten their belts. Recruitment at Meta and Uber has slowed, job offers from Twitter and Coinbase have been withdrawn, and deep layoffs have gripped parts of the sector. Still, US software engineering job postings are up 120 percent from a pre-coronavirus pandemic baseline in early 2020, reports Dave Lee.

5. Disney meets its cricket match
After five seasons at Disney, the Indian Premier League media rights from 2023 to 2027 are up for sale in an auction starting Sunday. Disney’s star is expected subjected to intense competition from YouTube, Sony Pictures, Amazon and Viacom18, among others. Oh, and it has just fired his top television executive.

Tech Tools – Turntable from Ikea

You do not need an Allen key for assembly The new record player from Ikeabut you may need to order other elements of his music-focused furniture collection, which is being released in collaboration with the band Swedish House Mafia.

OBEGRÄNSAD, which means ‘unlimited’ in Swedish, is initially limited to an armchair, turntable and desk for music production, but will expand to more than 20 products this fall. Turntables, Ikea’s first since 1973has a minimalist style and works with it ENEBY wireless speaker.

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