I have a theoretical question, if we use some sort of ionizing radiation like an ionizing laser for example (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric-pressure_laser_ionization), to create a path in the air and have a high density electric source right next to where the laser was fired from as to create a path and a gradient for electricity to flow to our target?
To transfer electrical energy from ground to target, a closed circuit is needed. The current should flow in a closed loop from the source to the load and back needing two paths with an insulation between the conductors.
Using two beams would require a large insulation gap between them to avoid a short circuit between both beams.
But the efficiency would be very low. The resistance of the long ionized path is not negligible small. So less than 5 % of the power may be used by the target and more than 95 % would be wasted within the ionized paths.