http://www.isec.org/ is a website about a Space Elevator. I haven't followed their progress in a year or so, so maybe some else already asked this question, but here goes: If we use carbon nano tubes as the tether to hold the space resort that will be the destination of the elevator in orbit, couldn't we use the space resort to convert sunlight into electricity and if we have enough solar panels up there, it could provide the excess electricity to us here on Earth using the carbon nano tube to deliver it down here, couldn't it?
I would think so, except I cannot remember the conductance properties of carbon nanotubes off the top of me head. I think it depends on what other atoms are incorporated, which also affects the weight and strength. A properly conductive carbon nanotube might not be optimal for strength - I just don't remember. But I believe solar panels at the top of the beanstalk have always been part of the draw of the idea. (Showing my age there a little bit - the Space Elevator was often nicknamed the Beanstalk back in the 30's and 40's when it was still a relatively new idea that was just waiting for the invention of new materials to make it practical...)
I would not be surprised if we see this during our lifetimes and certainly during this century. Here's one article: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/solar_power_from_space_moving_beyond_s...