Thanks to a reader who sent me a quote from Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter in which they focus on pressing problems in the world. In this letter, Bill focuses on energy. (https://www.gatesnotes.com/2016-Annual-Letter?WT.mc_id=02_22_2016_20_AL2016_BG-TB_&WT.tsrc=BGTB)
” . . . if you’re someone with some crazy-sounding ideas to solve our energy challenge, the world needs you. Study extra hard in your math and sciences. You might just have the answer.
The challenge we face is big, perhaps bigger than many people imagine. But so is the opportunity. If the world can find a source of cheap, clean energy, it will do more than halt climate change. It will transform the lives of millions of the poorest families.
I’m so optimistic about the world’s ability to make a miracle happen that I’m willing to make a prediction. Within the next 15 years—and especially if young people get involved—I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.
I like to think about what an energy miracle like that would mean in a slum I once visited in Nigeria. It was home to tens of thousands of people but there was no electricity. As night fell, no lights flickered on. The only glow came from open fires lit in metal barrels, where people gathered for the evening. There was no other light for kids to study by, no easy way to run a business or power local clinics and hospitals. It was sad to think about all of the potential in this community that was going untapped.
A cheap, clean source of energy would change everything.
Bill Gates made a splash in 2014 in the LENR community when he visited the ENEA facilities in Rome and was briefed on their cold fusion work — but he hasn’t said anything about it publicly since then, which makes me wonder whether he currently thinks of cold fusion/LENR as the energy miracle he is seeking.
However I also find it hard to believe that with all his resources and contacts that he is not aware of the work of Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat, and the growing community of LENR researchers. Maybe he’s like many others in the world, quietly watching progress before going out on a limb and making public statements about LENR before there is something concrete upon which to base a pronouncement — like the report of Rossi’s one-year 1MW plant test that we are all currently waiting for.
15 years is a long time in today’s world of accelerated technological progress. I think that Bill Gates’ prediction is pretty safe, and I think that miracle could show up much sooner.