Liquid Solar Energy May Arrive Sooner Than Bill Gates Thinks


When recently asked which superpower he would give himself, Bill Gates said he’d change the world with cleaner, cheaper energy. If it’s a dorky ability to have, and not quite a superpower, it’s also an undeniably provident answer. The Microsoft founder is now publicly hashing out what this vision might look like — at his most speculative, we’ll borrow the best parts of gasoline and the best parts of solar energy to create a fuel source that’s altogether plant-like.

On Tuesday, Gates chatted with Marketplace’s David Brancaccio, about this idea that solar energy could one day be harnessed as liquid fuel:


Rooftop Solar On Big Box Stores Could Power Millions Of Homes: Report

Could big box stores actually be good for the environment? That’s the counter-intuitive argument being made by Environment America in a new study — thought the federation is really zeroing in on the potential in their rooftops.

The sheer size of these sprawling superstores has spurred environmental criticism towards retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot. But that size also brings an opportunity for chains to make some amends by generating solar power.


India: The Next Solar Superpower

India grabbed the headlines recently when it announced its GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 at 7.3%. For the fiscal year ending March 2016, India should report growth of 7.6%.

Nonetheless, India is still an emerging economy, suffering plenty of growing pains. Among them is the lack of power throughout the country. Roughly 400 million Indians lack access to basic electricity. Many of the rest suffer through all-too-common power outages. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to provide 24-hour electricity to all of India’s 1.3 billion citizens by the end of his term in 2019. An ambitious target, to say the least.


Bill Gates on getting billionaires behind clean energy

In the wake of the climate talks in Paris in November, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, the billionaire-backed group searching for global energy solutions, is thinking about the future. And Bill Gates, the Coalition’s founder, is writing about it in his yearly letter to followers of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This year’s letter is addressed to a young audience — 15-year-olds — framed around the question, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Melinda and Bill’s answers, respectively? More time, and more energy. Investing in creating clean, affordable energy will change the world, Gates says.

Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio spoke with Gates about the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and the future of energy.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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