Bill Gates-backed Heliogen is the first ever company able to power heavy industry using solar energy. Mr Gates is joined alongside such investors as Neotribe and Nant Capital, and has commented that the company is a “promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel”. Mr Gates further commented:
“Today industrial processes like those used to make cement, steel, and other materials are responsible for more than a fifth of all emissions” and further “These materials are everywhere in our lives but we don’t have any proven breakthroughs that will give us affordable, zero-carbon versions of them. If we’re going to get to zero carbon emissions overall, we have a lot of inventing to do.”
Other investors have also commented on Heliogen’s immense potential, with Nant Capital’s Dr. Soon-Shiong stating that “For the sake of our future generations we must address the existential danger of climate change with an extreme sense of urgency”
Dr. Soon-Shiong followed: “I am committed to using my resources to invest in innovative technologies that harness the power of nature and the sun. By significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating a pure source of energy, Heliogen’s brilliant technology will help us achieve this mission and also meaningfully improve the world we leave our children.”
With a team of scientists and engineers from both Caltech and MIT, Heliogen claims it can replace commercial use of fossil fuels with its technology, harnessing the heat from the sun to create a carbon-free fuel alternative.
The company uses mirrors positioned to reflect sunlight onto a target area, which generates an intense heat source that is larger than any other commercial solar system to date. Harnessing this energy, Heliogen can be used to fuel heavy industry, such as the production of cement. The innovative start-up represents an exciting step forward in sustainable fuel alternatives.