Bill Gates & Heliogen: People, places and things beyond headlines

Why him now? Are we discussing philanthropy, or the rich list?

Neither. We are discussing business. A company called Heliogen.

Is Bill Gates an investor?

Bingo! Now guess what the company does?

Hmm…helio is close to the Greek word helios, which is the sun. Solar power, is it?

Right again. But this is different. It produces heat, as high as 1000 degrees Celsius and higher.

A new tech to harness the sun?

You can say so. It uses artificial intelligence to make multiple mirrors to correctly focus sun’s rays on a single point, by a process widely known as concentrated solar power.

And what will this heat be used for?

The plan is to sell it to steel and cement plants that need a lot of heat.

You mean if steel or cement plant will not need to burn coal or gas then?

Bingo again! You are in great form.

Stop being condescending. So this was Gates’ idea?

Nope. The startup’s founder is another Bill though — Bill Gross.

Aha! Fits the bill, doesn’t he? Now, what will Heliogen do on cloudy days?

Heliogen is working on ways to store the energy. Gates has also invested in a company called Malta that works on heat energy storage.

And who started Malta?

Google did.

Wow! Gates is surely eyeing the next-gen.


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