Bill Gates Backs New Solar Technology That Makes Renewables Cheaper And Cleaner

Billionaire software developer Bill Gates has invested in revolutionary solar technology that may just break the back of the fossil fuel industry once and for all and lead the world into a green energy era.

Currently, solar technology has the ability to harness the power of the sun and generate temperatures of up to 560 degrees. The solar technology developed by Heliogen, however, is different and amazing. It has the ability to generate temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees, with the possibility of getting past 1,500 degrees.

It has certainly impressed Gates, who is ponying up his own money into the project.

This may not seem important, but the ability to generate incredible temperatures this high could change the way we produce materials such as cement, steel and glass, which require high temperatures that up to now could only be generated by fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, that’s why the production of cement is responsible for quite a bit of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing rising global temperatures and uncontrollable climate change.

“Today, industrial processes like those used to make cement, steel, and other materials are responsible for more than a fifth of all emissions,” Gates told The Guardian. “These materials are everywhere in our lives but we don’t have any proven breakthroughs that will give us affordable, zero-carbon versions of them. If we’re going to get to zero carbon emissions overall, we have a lot of inventing to do.”

The technology employs hundreds of mirrors that direct sunlight at a steam turbine in a tower. This turbine is then powered when the immense heat turns water into steam, which means no more CO2 emissions. And this kind of technology will be way less expensive than fossil fuels like coal and oil, as well as more environmentally friendly.

“We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions,” Heliogen founder and CEO Bill Gross told CNN Business. “And that’s really the holy grail.”

Indeed, cement, glass and steel manufacturers could all employ the technology, instantly cutting their own carbon footprint in the world. It could even be adapted for the transportation sector, which would reduce even more carbon emissions, something the planet desperately needs as we teeter towards a global temperature red line that scientists have repeatedly warned us not to cross.

This technological breakthrough may be the killing blow to a 19th-century energy industry that has refused to acknowledge that it’s time for innovation and change.

“Bill and the team have truly now harnessed the sun,” Heliogen board member and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong said. “The potential to humankind is enormous. The potential to business is unfathomable.”

Businesses could improve their own bottom lines by no longer having to rely on fossil fuels to manufacture their products. Once they make the decision to leave fossil fuels behind for a cleaner and cheaper form of energy, it will finally be game over for the fossil fuel industry and a new beginning for the Earth, which desperately needed some good news for a change.

And with a backer like Bill Gates investing in the project, we are one step closer to a cleaner and more efficient world that does not need to destroy itself in pursuit of energy.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.
 

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