Space Elevator solves SPS
Riatt and Edwards 4 - * Senior Technology Transfer Officer, Technology Transfer & Promotion Office, European Space Agency and **President, X Tech Corp (David and Bradley, 2004, "The Space Elevator: Economics And Applications," IAC-04-IAA.3.8.3, 55th International Astronautical Congress 2004 - Vancouver, Canada, http://www.spaceelevator.com/Docs/Iac-2004/Iac-04-iaa.3.8.3.09.raitt.pdf)#SPS
One major use envisioned at the outset is that of launching solar energy platforms which will collect the limitless energy of the sun and beam it down to Earth for a constant source of clean, renewable power. This would have enormous implications for the environment and sustainable development by cutting fossil fuel consumption and thus eliminating harmful greenhouse gases. It would also avoid the necessity of constructing tall solar towers which, of necessity, have huge ground footprints. The solar tower under development in Australia, for instance, will have a collector nearly 6km in diameter and require over 50 square kilometers for the construction. Current costs put the capital investment needed for a space solar power system well in the tens of billions of dollars. Such systems would be able to supply power at approximately $0.2/kW-hr which is still above conventional power production rates of competitive terrestrial options such as fission plants and wind turbines. The major hurdle has been the launch costs required to place 20 million kilo systems at geosynchronous altitude. Conventional rocket systems can place 5000kg in geosynchronous for roughly $200m (Atlas V or Delta IV). This would place the total launch costs at $800bn. However, recent work suggests that these costs would drop with the Space Elevator. Total launch costs would be around $30bn and allow for roughly $0.1$/kW-hr power production. This is competitive with terrestrial-based power supplies. More R&D work is needed to bring the technology to maturity for such a programme but countries such as Japan have stated a commitment to construct a space solar power system by 2040.
Solve solar power and disaster response
Kent 07 - Major, USAF, PE (Jason, Center for Strategy and Technology, Air War College. "Getting To Space On A Thread, Space Elevator As Alternative Space Access" April 2007)#SPS
Building a space elevator suddenly makes many projects feasible which would have direct application to support the U.S. military. Power generation from orbit and on-call night- time illumination are but two of these missions. Solar power is a free and inexhaustible energy supply. Using a space elevator, massive solar power collection and transmission stations could be constructed in GEO that could relieve and someday replace fossil fuel-based energy production. For the military, such stations could be developed to beam power down to fielded forces relieving these units from the need to bring fuel or generators into an undeveloped area of operations. Similarly, on-call illumination from either mirrors or spotlights in orbit could be built to support military operations or emergency response. These satellites would prove very useful in illuminating targeted areas or exposing enemy positions while leaving friendly forces shielded by darkness. In an emergency response situation, the same orbital illumination could be used to provide light while terrestrial power was restored or response personnel were in action. With a space elevator, legacy missions would grow while new missions are enabled. With these missions in mind, it is time to turn to the actual construction and operation of a space elevator