Why would you have sunlight shining directly on your orbital panels? That would be stupid, you would be much better off putting them on Earth. What you want to do is put up massive mylar parabolic reflectors, possibly many km across and stabilized by photon pressure and/or gyroscopic effects, that concentrate sunlight onto extremely high-power photovoltaics. Orbital reflectors can cost practically nothing to deploy and maintain, unlike their Earth-side counterparts which must be built strong enough to survive gravity, weather, and life, and will consume land area that could be put to other use or allowed to lie fallow for ecosystem restoration. (especially important for island nations)
And microwave lasers (aka masers - a technology that predates lasers considerably) actually make incredible sense for beaming the power back to Earth, since the atmosphere is extremely transparent to microwaves. Of course even a tightly focused maser will spread out after 36,000km, so you'll need massive receiving antennas on Earth covering many square kilometers, especially if you want to avoid cooking everything in the airspace alive, but power density could easily be many times the palty 1kW/m^2 of sunlight, and microwave mirrors and antennas are a much more rugged, simple, and efficient technology than optical mirrors and photovoltaics.
Plus, if you're willing to put up with the bureaucracy, you can probably get your military interested in testing its potential as an orbital death ray, dramatically improving the funding available for at least the early facilities.