"Balloons high in the air can harvest much more energy – five times more – in a very predictable way. This is also a solution available everywhere on the planet," Jean-Francois Guillemoles, senior researcher at the CNRS and visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, told CNBC via email.
"As a secondary benefit, being made of a lightweight structure, we believe they can be made using less resources, can be installed easily and have a low environmental impact overall," Guillemoles added.
Guillemoles said that there could be potential for "synergies with energy storage, in the form of hydrogen, for instance," that could enable a round the clock supply of clean energy.
The potential of solar is huge. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2050 the sun could well be the world's biggest source of electricity.
"From a few meters high to stratospheric heights, the concept is versatile," Guillemoles went on to add.
"At this stage we are focusing on tethered balloons just above clouds – that is around 6 kilometers (in) altitude – which we think is the most promising approach," he said.
According to the project, the solar balloon would be able to produce electricity during the day, with a battery continuing to generate electricity at night.
Looking forward, Guillemoles was positive on the potential of the concept, although several challenges do remain.
"I believe this may be seen rather soon," he said. "A lot of technology is already available, and what is not could be developed."
Guillemoles said that thorough economic studies would need to be made in order to see how the idea could be made in a cost effective way. It would also have to be made compatible with current regulations. "This is especially an issue with the usage of hydrogen," he said.