Here’s the gist: When solar panels are orbiting Earth, they enjoy 24 hours of unfiltered sunshine every day, upping their productivity. Once out there, they could convert that solar radiation into electricity (just as existing solar panels do) and then into microwave beams (using the same principle as your kitchen appliance). Those microwaves then get beamed back to Earth, where receivers convert them back into electricity to power the grid. Simple! Except that Lewis-Weber estimates that building and launching thousands of pounds of solar panels and other equipment into space will be outrageously expensive, in the range of hundreds of trillions of dollars.