Were I able to build a space elevator (ignoring for the moment that I can't due to current material science etc), what issues would there be relating to atmospheric conditions? Presumably it would be a very good lightning conductor. Would this be an issue? Could it actually be used for the capture of energy? My thoughts are that it might prevent the occurrence of lightning as any electrical buildup in its vicinity would be dissipated to earth by the conductor itself.
Also, it would provide a direct conductor from the solar wind down to the earth, so would there be a way of collecting energy from this? Could it be protected from this with a self-generated magnetic field?