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Friday, August 29, 2014

Bill Gates: Wrong On Fossil Fuels

Some people believe Bill Gates is a business genius. Well, if screwing your peer group is a talent, he certains deserves the title of evil genius.

Now, Gates is coming out in favor of tradtional, centralized fossil fuel energy plants as oppposed to renewable energy. This is demonstrating either just how stupid Gates is, or that he's shilling for Big Oil now.

Don't take our word for it. Read Powering the World’s Poorer Economies: A Response to Bill Gates and Jigar Shah. The bottom line:

Can renewables meet industrial as well as household needs? India uses 25 percent of its scarce electrons providing occasional, middle-of-the-night irrigation power --- a purpose for which solar pumps are phenomenally reliable. Solar pumps work when farmers want them to --- during the day. In Chile, solar electrons easily outperform imported LNG for meeting the power needs of copper mines. In the conditions where the poor live, renewable power is more reliable and robust than fossil fuels.
It is striking that in Big Carbon's response to Jigar Shah in a Forbes blog post, the industry was forced to predict fossil fuel's continued global dominance by citing growth trends over the last thirty years. Unsurprisingly, it failed to reveal the cresting competitive edge for distributed renewables. That's akin to looking back 40 years and suggesting that today's dominance of mobile phones is a delusion.
Distributed renewables are about a decade behind telephony, but the arc of the two technologies is the same. The new world will come to small villages in Tanzania before it comes to Chicago --- just as the cell-phone revolution reached Bangkok before it dominated New York.
Bjorn Lomborg may not want to believe Jigar Shah --- or me --- on this. But he ought to base his projections and assumptions on current numbers, not outdated ones.
So, who is right? Well, in the nation with the world's largest energy-deprived population, India, a new, very pro-business and quite conservative prime minister, Narendra Modi, has cast his best with distributed solar. He is promising to give every energy-deprived Indian household solar power within the next five years.
Let's get on with the job.