The application of clean energy is the next big step for mankind. Although much of the world’s developed countries base a percentage of their electrical grid on renewable sources such as solar, geothermal, wind and nuclear, it is still a fairly low percentage. For Bill Gates, the current electrical grid is very outdated, and that makes it vulnerable. This, of course, translates into a clear danger to humanity.
Gates uses as an example of this danger what happened during the winter storms that occurred in Texas. During that time, the local grid failed, leaving millions of people without power for several days in a row. This event led to the death of hundreds of people, a tragic ending that, according to the businessman, can be avoided in the future.
But unexpected snowfall isn’t the only thing that can cause a problem. Torrential rains or extreme heat, increasingly common events due to climate changethey can jeopardize the global electrical system in the blink of an eye.
“The solution is clear,” he comments in his publication for GatesNotes, his official blog. “We have to improve our network, build more high-voltage transmission lines that can carry electricity over long distances.” Thus, we will be able to use these transmission lines to connect the communities and regions in a much more efficient way.
By the 2030s, we will need to build so many new lines that they would reach the Moon if chained together.
And by 2050, we will need to more than double the size of the network, while replacing most of the existing cables.”
Bill Gates in his video The surprising key to a clean energy future
Bill Gates’ plans to ensure the advancement of our civilization
Bill Gates believes that the next great challenge for civilization will be to modernize the world’s electrical grid for the 21st century. The idea of him is transport power longer distances using more high-voltage transmission lines. But for that, you have to build them first. And it is that, for Gates, the way in which the electrical network has been arranged is not prepared to satisfy modern energy needs – using the United States as the basis of his study -.
longer lines would allow solar and wind energy to be moved from collection centers to cities. Let us remember that the ideal places to generate these types of clean energy are usually far from populated centers, which makes it difficult to use it as the main method for most urbanized areas.
But the reach of the electrical network is not the only thing that worries the businessman. With each passing year, the human population with access to electricity skyrockets, and it is increasingly necessary to electrify more and more products. From cars to smart home devices. Gates says that by 2050, the demand for electricity could double. This is where the other problem comes in.
The electrical network is outdated
Most of the infrastructure for the distribution and transmission of electrical energy was built between the 1950s and 1970s, at least in the United States, with a life expectancy of barely 50 years. Now, the extreme climates facing modern humanity they only weaken a system that, of course, is already close to collapsing.
Furthermore, due to the technology of the time, the countries of the world developed a rather fragmented electrical infrastructure. “Most people talk about the electrical grid as if it were a single network that covers the entire nation…”, comments Gates in his post, “but in reality it is a complicated mosaic of systems with different levels of connection to each other ”.
What does this mean? The difficulty of communities in being able to export or import energy in the event that weather conditions prevent the use of a region’s supply. Furthermore, even if we could use fully renewable energy, the current infrastructure creates a dense bottleneck that prevents the transmission of clean energy.
Right now, more than 1.00 gigawatts of clean energy projects are awaiting approval – roughly the current size of the entire US grid.
Bill Gates’ proposals
Just as he points out the problems of today’s power grid, Bill Gates also proposes some solutions. Starting with the different ways of financing these improvements, up to the planning and the necessary permits to carry it out. His ultimate goal is to achieve “fewer emissions, cleaner air, more jobs, fewer blackouts, more energy and economic security, and healthier communities across the country.”
Bill Gates is one of the most committed businessmen in the fight against climate change. In fact, along with Melinda Ann French, his ex-wife, has a foundation to drive sustainability around the world.
In addition, one of his startups under the name of Blue Frontier has been working on different ways to cool homes With its technology, air conditioners can reduce the production of problematic substances for refrigeration, as well as up to 90% of the bill. Verdox, another Bill Gates startup, has managed to capture carbon dioxide directly from the environment, an achievement that in the future could clean the air of the most polluted large cities.
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