November 20, 2019
While electric cars and solar-powered homes and buildings have made great strides recently, renewable energy has not yet made any inroads into intense industrial processes such as cement and steelmaking, which account for a significant percentage of fossil fuel usage.
Bill Gates recently announced that Heliogen, a clean energy company that he has backed, has developed a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius, or temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you’d find on the surface of the sun.
Meanwhile, two of America’s largest coal plants shut down permanently this month. The emissions reductions from those two plants equal all the emission reductions from coal plant shut-downs in 2015, which was itself a record year for coal plant emission reductions.
Maybe all is not (yet) lost.