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Bill Gates' startup for secret energy is making a solar breakthrough



Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, has found a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that there is extreme heat over 1,000 Celsius is generated.

In essence, Heliogen has created a solar oven that can reach temperatures that correspond to about a quarter of the sun's surface.

The breakthrough enables concentrated solar energy to be used for the first time to generate the extreme heat required to produce cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a corner of the economy that is untouched by the clean energy revolution.

"We are introducing technologies that can outperform the price of fossil fuels, and" Bill Gross, founder and CEO of Heliogen, told CNN Business that CO2 emissions are also not rising. "" And that's really the sacred thing Graal. "

Heliogen, which also includes billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angels Times, believes the patented technology can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the industry, for example, according to the International Energy Agency 7 % of global CO2 emissions.

"Bill and the team have really taken advantage of the sun," said Soon-Shiong, who also sits on the Heliogen board's CNN Business. "The potential for humanity is enormous. … The potential for businesses is unfathomable. "

  Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has made a breakthrough that could enable cement manufacturers to transition from fossil fuels, using artificial intelligence and a range of mirrors to generate massive amounts of heat Heliogen, supported by Bill Gates, has made a breakthrough that could enable cement manufacturers to transition from fossil fuels, using artificial intelligence and a range of mirrors to create enormous breakthroughs Generating amounts of heat while essentially harnessing the power of the sun.
Unlike traditional solar energy, which captures solar energy on the roof, Heliogen enhances what is known as concentrated solar energy the sun is reflected by mirrors to a single point, i Not new.
Concentrated solar energy has been used in the past to produce electricity and, to a limited extent, to generate heat for industry. It is even used in Oman to deliver the energy needed to drill for oil.
The problem is that in the past concentrated solar energy could not get hot enough to produce cement and steel.

Technologies that can not deliver really overheated systems, "said Olav Junttila, a partner of Greentech Capital Advisors, a clean energy investment bank that has advised concentrated solar companies in the past.

Using Artificial Intelligence Solution The Climate Crisis

That is, renewable energies have not disrupted industrial processes such as cement and steel making, and that's a problem because the world has an insatiable appetite for these materials These industries are responsible for more than one fifth of global emissions, according to the EPA.
For this reason, the potential of Los Angeles-based Heliogen was created by Gates, Microsoft MSFT ) Co-founder, who recently [1 9459013] Amazon ( AMZN ) has outperformed CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world.

"I'm glad I supported Bill Gross & # 39; s novel solar concentration technology early on," Gates said in a statement. "Its ability to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to eventually replace fossil fuels."

  Heliogen, founded by Bill Gross, must convince industrial companies that the investment is worth transitioning to solar technology.

19659006] While other solar companies tackled this temperature issue by adding steel to make the technology stiffer and more stable, Heliogen and his team of scientists and engineers turned to artificial intelligence.

Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other advanced technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar rays at a single point.

"If you take a thousand mirrors and align them exactly to a single point, you can ext" Very high temperatures, "Gross said, adding that Heliogen made the breakthrough on the first day he turned on his system This carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into fuel for trucks and planes.

"If you can make green hydrogen, that's a game changer," Gross said. "In the long run, we want the company to be green hydrogen."

"No-Brainer"

Currently, Heliogen concentrates exclusively on solar energy.A problem with solar energy is that the sun does not always shine, while industrial companies like cement manufacturers have a constant heat requirement said it would solve this problem by relying on storage systems that can store solar energy for rainy days. [19659002] Having achieved this breakthrough, Heliogen will focus on demonstrating how the technology can be used in a large-scale industrial application, such as cement manufacturing.

"We're in a race, we just want to scale as fast as we can," Gross said.

After the large-scale application, Soon-Shiong said Heliogen was probably ready to go public.

In the meantime, Heliogen needs a healthy dose of capital to scale and works with investors on a private round of financing. Soon, Shiong signaled that he plans to invest more in Heliogen. Heliogen declined to provide information on how much money it has collected so far.

"This is an existential problem for your children, my children, and our grandchildren," Soon-Shiong said.

Heliogen's biggest challenge will be convincing industrial companies that use fossil fuels to make the investments needed to make the transition. Gross said the company had spoken privately to potential customers and plans to announce its first customers soon.

"If we go to a cement company and say we give you green heat, not CO2, but we also save you money, then it will be a breeze," said Gross.

His biggest selling point is the fact that unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, sunlight is free. And Heliogen argues that his technology is already economical with fossil fuels because it relies on AI.

"The only way to compete is to handle your materials extremely skillfully, and by using software we can do that," said Gross.


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