If turning solar energy into usable electricity sounds familiar to you, then you're probably a gigantic nerd that's read Asimov's fantastic short story, The Last Question. In this real life scenario, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Osaka University Institute of Laser Engineering are going to launch plates made of chromium and neodymium into orbit, which will convert 42% of solar light into lasers, which shoot down onto a facility that converts it into usable power.
This scheme hopes to go live by 2030, and will be able to use solar power 24 hours a day, instead of the slightly less efficient output solar has on the ground. By improving the solar-to-laser efficiency and having solar collectors from 100 to 200 meters long, they'll be able to match a 1-gigawatt nuclear power plant. [Asahi via Pink Tentacle]