Bill Gates is organizing a $1 billion fund that will invest in fusion and other clean energy technology. Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) has the backing of some of the world’s richest people; and it might invest in cold fusion or low energy nuclear reaction (LENR).
Gates will serve as chairman of the fund which is designed to commercialize clean-energy technologies to combat climate change, Market Mad House reported. In the press coverage Gates did not discuss LENR but he did say something interesting.
“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates said. Gates himself was careful not to name any specific technologies but he has invested in hot fusion and nuclear fission research in the past. Gates has pledged to invest $1 billion of his own money in such research in the past.
BEV is the work of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a league of the super-rich dedicated to fighting climate change with clean energy. Bill Gates is the leader and organizer of the effort.
Donald J. Trump’s upset victory in the U.S. Presidential election will have little or no effect on either hot or cold fusion.
Under the U.S. Constitution the President has little or no influence over science and technology research because he or she does not write the budget. Congress; especially the House of Representatives, writes the budget which means it supplies the money.
President Trump would have the power to issue an executive order halting; or stepping up, low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or hot fusion research. Yet that order would be a meaningless piece of paper because Congress would supply the money for the actual research and development.
Trump’s party, the Republicans has control over Congress, but Trump actually has very little control over Republican Senators and Representatives. Instead all he can do is suggest legislation to them and sign it – if it ever reaches his desk.
Germany might become the first of the major powers to abolish use of the internal combustion engine. The Bundesrat; an upper house of Germany’s parliament that represents state governments recommended that the country get rid of diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030.
The action is not binding but it is surprising and important because Germany is the nation where the internal combustion engine and the automobile were invented. Carl Benz patented a gasoline engine in the country in 1879 and a gas-burning automobile in 1886. The company he founded Benz, still exists as Mercedes Benz, part of Daimler AG, one of Germany’s big three automobile makers.
Autos are big business in Germany; Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are three of the most important companies in the country. All three are leaders in the drive to put electric-powered cars on the road.
If Germany were to go electric it would certainly provide impetus for other nations like the United States to follow. This move also makes research into next generation power sources like low energy nuclear reaction even more important.
It will be hard for a lot of people to believe but energy prices around the globe are in freefall. Some types of crude oil are now so worthless that producers in the United States are paying to have them hauled away.
Oil prices are collapsing because the only way that countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Iran can pay their bills is to sell off oil at whatever price they can get. This has effectively broken the back of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC - the cartel of oil-pumping countries that once had a stranglehold on the world’s economy.
One reason why OPEC has lost its power is that countries outside such as Russia and the United States can now export as much or more oil than it can. Even if OPEC raises the price all America or Russia needs to do to pull the rug out from under it is to turn up the pump and flood the market with cheap oil.
Andrea Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation has received a United States Patent that could cover his Ecat low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). Interestingly enough the patent US 9,115,913 B1 dated August 25, 2015, does not mention LENR, cold fusion or the words Ecat or energy catalyzer.
Instead it is for a device called a Fluid Heater. Andrea Rossi is listed as the inventor and his company Leonardo Corporation is listed as the assignee or owner. The Fluid Heater is described as:
“An apparatus for heating fluid includes a tank for holding fluid to be heated, and a fuel wafer in fluid communication with the fluid. The fuel wafer includes a fuel mixture including reagents and a catalyst, and an electrical resistor or other heat source in thermal communication with the fuel mixture and the catalyst.”
The landscape in the world of energy is changing faster than we might expect. Low oil prices forced Saudi Arabia to borrow $4 billion over the last year, CNBC reported. The oil rich kingdom had to borrow the money to cover a budget deficit that was larger than expected.
It is not known how large Saudi Arabia’s deficit is but unknown analysts quoted by CBNC estimated the Saudi deficit at $130 billion. Saudi Arabia is still very rich though it still has cash reserves of around $737 billion. Some experts think Saudi Arabia will have to start cutting spending because it simply cannot finance its lavish economy with $58 a barrel oil. The Saudis would need $105 a barrel oil to cover all their costs.
A power source like low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) could be more vital to our future than previously thought. Recent stories indicate that some of our present sources of energy are not adequate to meet our needs and power future technologies.
One future technology that could be powered by LENR is the hyperloop, Elon Musk’s incredibly disruptive proposal for a super-fast ground transportation system. It could whisk people and freight across the countryside at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour and it would be electric powered. Most proposals for hyperloop show that it would be solar powered but Forbes reported that an engineer designing the product for a company called Hyperloop Technologies or Hyperloop Tech estimated that solar would not generate enough power to run it.
Cherokee Partners’ CEO Tom Darden’s funding of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research is more extensive than previously revealed. Darden is the man behind Industrial Heat which purchased Andrea Rossi’s ecat technology last year. Unfortunately Darden would not reveal what other researchers he is backing in an interview with Marianne Macy in April 16, 2015 issue of Infinite Energy Magazine.
Macy interviewed Darden after his provocative speech during the opening ceremoniesof the 19th Annual International Conference on Cold Fusion in Padua, Italy, on April 13, 2015. Darden surprised a lot of people with his public commitment to LENR and his willingness to put money into the field.
Darden also revealed some of his thinking on LENR in the interview which is well worth reading. Some of the high lights include what convinced him to back Rossi:
“We’ve seen a number of tests and we’ve had a lot of people looking at tests,” Darden said. “Of course outsiders have looked at tests. I think particularly the transmutation data is very compelling. I felt very good about that, better than any outlet of test data I’d seen.”
Recent news stories have exposed some serious limitations to a few of the next generation energy technologies our leaders are promoting as solutions to problems like global warming. These stories should serve as a wakeup call and strong evidence why we need to research options like low energy nuclear reaction or LENR.
The most interesting story is that solar power is not as reliable as we thought. Bloomberg reported that an eclipse on March 20 had German and other utilities scrambling to turn on backup systems for solar panels. On some sunny days up to 40% of Germany’s electricity is provided by solar panels.
The utilities had to figure how to quickly switch on backup systems such as natural gas fired turbines when the sun went dark and solar panels stopped feeding juice into the system. The amount of electricity needed could be massive Germany gets around 38 gigawatts of electricity from the sun.