Energy isn’t a topic on which we’ve heard Bill Gates speak as much as his entrepreneurial and charitable work, but the founder of Microsoft is investing heavily in innovation of zero-carbon energy generation – a subject about which he has long been passionate.
Gates has centred his energy projects in mind of the goals of environmental living, namely that it is not enough simply to find new ways of generating energy, but to do so with no carbon emissions.
Bill Gates has admitted that zero-carbon electricity is a significant challenge.
His investments tend to adopt the premise that there is no one direct route to creating energy without damaging the environment – rather, he believes it better to fund a variety of different approaches. Researchers involved with Gates have made incredible progress in lower carbon emission reductions.
Gates himself has started a company based around nuclear energy, which at first may seem odd, but he believes it a feasible approach that overcomes many of the traditional barriers in generating carbon free technology.
Gates is mindful that he can’t address the problem of CO2 alone – making it clear that many projects and initiatives are needed and inter-communication between them is essential.
In energy, innovation really is the word of the day, not just within technology but in changing attitudes towards energy generation itself.
High earners may well be able to put up with paying more for their electricity, and be in a position to consume less. Yet for the poor, these lifestyle choices are often a luxury they simply cannot afford. Bill Gates has emphasised in statements that putting constraints on the poor has serious consequences. People may not have as much access to drinking water, fertilizer, and be unable to travel to their workplace.
The advancement of civilisation, believes Gates, has and will depend on energy becoming less expensive. Energy conservation, he states, is useful in achieving reduced energy use – yet what is needed is not mere efficiency, but a new dynamic in generating electricity that can meet the growing demand for energy in a carbon friendly way.
It’s clear why a foresighted investor such as Bill Gates is interested in such a fascinating topic: it fits the innovation framework, and yet there is a sizable role for profit within the private sector. Companies will see the benefit in their own firms. It’s true that many of these companies will fail in the act – in fact the vast majority will not come up with a winning solution.
But all that is needed, according to Gates’ press releases, is a few initiatives to succeed. In so doing this success helps the poor and greatly contributes in getting man-made climate change under control.
If the likes of Bill Gates can come together through funding and research, the result will be a win both for the health of the planet and developing nations hungry to meet increasing energy demands in a cost efficient way.