Tags: solar | energy | co2 | emissions | environment

Solar Tech Creates Extreme Heat Source for Industry

By    |   Tuesday, 19 November 2019 02:29 PM

Heliogen, a secretive clean energy company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, said Tuesday it's discovered a way to use a field of mirrors and artificial intelligence for a solar breakthrough that could replace the use of fossil fuels needed for industrial heat applications and cut back on CO2 emissions.

"We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions, and that's really the holy grail," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business, describing the method as a "solar oven."  "And that's really the holy grail."

Heliogen says it has discovered a method that reflects enough sunlight to generate extreme heat levels of over 1,000 degrees Celsius or roughly a quarter of the level of heat found on the surface of the sun, reports CNN. 

This means that the concentrated solar energy, for the first time, can create the heat needed to make steel, glass, cement, and to meet other industrial processes in a carbon-free source that had not been available before. 

"Bill (Gross) and the team have truly now harnessed the sun," billionaire Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, who also backs the company and sits on its board, added. "The potential to humankind is enormous. ... The potential to business is unfathomable."

According to the International Energy Agency, the cement industry alone accounts for 7% of the world's CO2 emissions. 

Concentrated solar energy is not new, and has been used in the past to produce electricity and in Oman, the power to drill for oil. However, in the past, the technology could not generate hot-enough temperatures to make cement and steel. The EPA says those industries represent a fifth of global emissions, and demand has not eased for the vital building materials. 

Gates said he's pleased to be an early backer of Gross's "novel solar concentration technology." 

"Its capacity to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel," Gates said in a statement. 

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Heliogen, a secretive clean energy company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, said Tuesday it's discovered a way to use a field of mirrors and artificial intelligence for a solar breakthrough that could replace the use of fossil fuels needed for industrial heat . . .
solar, energy, co2, emissions, environment
341
2019-29-19
Tuesday, 19 November 2019 02:29 PM
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