Translator: Liridon Shala Reviewer: Robert Lokaj Today I will talk about energy and carbon. What may seem a little strange to you is because my full job at the foundation is mostly about vaccines and diseases, about the things we need to discover and disseminate help you two billion poor live better. But energy and climate are two very important things for these people – in fact, more important than for anyone else on the planet. Climate deterioration in the coming years will increase: It will rain a lot, not so much rain, things will change that way that the fragile environment cannot support them. And this allows for sabotage, uncertainty and ambiguity. So climate change will be terrible for them. Also the price of energy is very important to them. In fact if you can only choose one thing to lower the price or reduce poverty, you would sooner dissolve energy. Now, the price of energy has decreased over time.
The development of civilization is based on the development of energy. The coal revolution filled the industrial revolution, even in the 1900s we saw significant reductions in energy prices, and that's why we have refrigerators, air conditioning, we can build modern materials and many other things. So be in a very good position with energy in the rich world. But the cheaper we make it – so let's make it twice as cheap – we have to meet a new constant, and the constant has to do with CO2. CO2 is warming the planet, and the CO3 equation is very straightforward. If it collects the CO2 emitted, it brings us to a rise in temperatures, and rising temperatures lead us to a very negative effect: the effect is in the weather; maybe even worse, an indirect effect, in that natural ecosystem can not adapt to those changes, so we have an ecosystem collapse.
Now, the quantity extracted in how we design it from some increase in CO2 to the temperatures that will be and up to positive reviews, there are some uncertainties there, but not so much. And of course there is a lot of uncertainty about how these bad effects will be, but they will be really bad. I have asked the most renowned scientists several times: Do we really need to get close to zero? Can't we just halve or triple it? And the answer is until we get to the zero point, the temperature will continue to rise. So this is a big challenge. It's a lot different than saying, "We're a twelve-foot-tall truck trying to get into a ten-foot-long bridge," and we can reduce it somewhat.
" This is something that has to be reduced to zero. Now we emit a lot of carbon dioxide every year, over 26 billion tons. For every American it is about 20 tons; for people in poor countries, it is less than a ton. On average it is about five tons for each person on the planet. And somehow we have to change it. The one to get to the zero point. It was constantly growing. It's just a few economic changes that have reduced it a bit, so we have to go from getting up fast to a large discount up to the zero point.
This equation has four factors, some multiplications: So you have one thing on the left, the CO2 you want to reduce to zero, and this will be based on the number of people, services for each person on average, average energy for each service, and CO2 emitted for each unit of energy. So let's look at each of them and see how we can get it to zero. Maybe one of these numbers should get close to zero.
Now we have to go back to elementary school algebra, but let's take a look. First we have the population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That is almost becoming 9 billion. Now if we are going to do a good job on the new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we can reduce it maybe 10 or 15 percent, but we will see an increase of about 1.3. The second factor is the services we use. This includes everything: the food we eat, the clothes, the TV, the heating.
These are very good things: getting rid of poverty means bringing these services to life for each one on the planet. And it's a very good thing for this number to grow. In the rich world, maybe the top 1 billion, maybe we should reduce it and use less, but every year this number is increasing on average, and above all they will be doubled services for one person. Here is a basic service: Do you have lights in your home so you can read homework? and in fact, these kids don’t, so they have to get out and they read homework at the end of the city. Now efficiency E, energy for each service, we finally have some good news.
We have something growing. With some interventions and some ways to do the lighting, with several different types of cars, different ways of buildings – there are many services where you can return it energy for that service at the minimum level. So individual services reduce it by up to 90 percent. There are some other services on how to make trash, or how we do air transport, where the improvements are very small.
So above all here, if we are optimistic, we can have a factor reduction of three or maybe even six. But for these three factors now, we went from 26 billion to our best maybe 13 billion, and this will not diminish it. So let's look at the fourth factor – this will be the main – and this is the amount of CO2 removed for each unit of energy. And here the equation is: Can we reduce it to zero? If you burn coal, no. If it burns natural gas again no. Almost every way we produce energy today, in addition to renewable and nuclear energy, they emit CO2. So what can we do in the global term, is to create a new system. So we need a miracle in energy.
Now when I use the term "miracle," I do not think of anything that is impossible. The microprocessor is a miracle. Personal computer as well. The internet and its services are miracles. So the people here who have participated in the creation of all these miracles. We usually do not have a deadline, where you have to complete the miracle with a certain date. Usually you stay behind, some of them come some others not. This is the moment where we have to drive at maximum speed and bring out the miracle as soon as possible. Now I thought, "How can we really get this out? Is there any natural illustration, any demonstration that would spark the imagination of the people here? " I thought about it a year ago when I brought the muskets, and some people liked it. (Laughter) Really got involved in the idea of you see, there are people who live with misconduct. So with energy, all that with what I can come up with is. I decided to release the xixillonjas would be my contribution to the environment this year. So here we have some natural xixillonja.
I was told not to beat them, in fact they might not even let go if they. (Laughter) So there are thousands of small solutions like that, but it is not worth that much. We need solutions – maybe one or several – which have a large involvement and reliability as well, although there are some directions people are looking for, I really look forward to hosting big numbers. I narrowly overlooked geothermal, fusion, biodiesel. These can make some contributions, and if they do better than I expect, much more, but my key point here is that we have to work on each of those fives, and I can not leave one of them aside because scaring him, because they all have a big challenge. Let's look at the burning of fossils first, or the burning of coal or natural gas. What should we do there, being simple, but it is not, and get all the CO2 out, after we burn it, to wait for it, create a fluid and decision somewhere, and hope to stay there. Now we need to set some pilot things that make it to the 60 to 80 percent level, but increase it to that full percentage, it will be very difficult, and compliance with these amounts of CO2 that need to be outside should be difficult, but the most difficult is the issue in the long run.
Who will be safe? Who will guarantee something that a billion times bigger than anything else that is lost do you think something nuclear or something else? This is a large volume. A really hard one. The next will be nuclear. There are three major problems: Costs, especially in regulated states, very expensive; the issue of security, thinking well that nothing would go wrong, even though you have human operations here, that fuel is not used for armaments. And then what do you do with the rest? Even though it is not very big, there is a lot of talk about it. People need to feel good about it. So three of the most difficult problems that can be solved, and so, we have to work on them. The last three of the five, I grouped together.
These are what people most of the time refer to as renewable resources. Actually gave – although they are good they do not need fuel – so they have some drawbacks One of them is the density of energy collected in these technologies is much less than in a thermal power plant. So this is an energy gag, so we're talking about a lot of square feet, thousands of meters more than a normal power plant. There are also undiscovered sources. The sun does not shine all day, it does not shine every day, as, the wind does not blow all the time. So if you depend entirely on one of these sources, ather you have several ways to gain energy during these time periods this is not possible. So we have a big spending challenge here, we have transmission challenges: for example, let's say the energy source is outside your state; you don't just need technology, but you also have to depend on the risk of energy coming from somewhere else. And finally, the collection problem. And to demonstrate this, I went and looked all types of batteries which are produced – for cars, for computers, for phones, for batteries, for everything – and compare it to the amount of energy the whole world uses, and what i have found is that all the batteries we produce now can save less than 10 minutes of all energy.
We actually need a lot of attention here, something that should be the 100th best factor with what we compare now. It is not impossible, but it is not a very easy thing .. Now, this appears when we try to improve the source to be on top, let’s say 20 to 30 percent of what we use. If you think about it 100 percent, you need a great battery (impossible so far). Now how are we going to move forward in this aspect – what way are we going to try? Is it the Manhattan project? What is it that sends us there? Well, we need a lot of companies working on it, thousands. In each of these five nodes, we need at least hundreds of people. And many of them, you look at them and say, "are crazy." And think here in the TED group, we have a lot of people who are working on it. Bill Gross has several companies, including one called eSolar which has some great solar technology.
Vinhd Khosla investing in some of the companies which are doing good things and have interesting opportunities, and I'm trying to help them. Nathan Myhrvold and I are actually turning a company around which perhaps surprisingly, also includes the nuclear possibility. There are some innovations in nuclear: liquid modular. And innovation in it stopped a few years ago, So the idea is that around it there are a lot of ideas which are not appropriate. The idea of TerraPower is that, instead of burning a piece of uranium – one percent, which is U235 – we decided, Let's burn 99 percent, of U238. " It's a bit of a crazy idea.
Horse people talked about it much earlier, but they have never been able to simulate whether it will work or not, so it is with the advantages of supercomputer moderation that you can now simulate and see that, yes it can be done, with the right material, this seems to work. And because you're burning 99 percent, you have upgraded to a better spending profile You actually burned the waste, and used it as fuel all that waste from today’s reactors.
So instead of worrying about them, you just use it. So that's a good thing. Suck this uranium going down, it's a kind of candle. You can see it is locked there, often referred to as the reactor traveler. Compared to fuel, it really solves the problem. I have a picture here of a place in Kentucky. This is the left arm, 99 percent, where they removed the part they are burning now, hence it is called depleted uranium. Which would supply the United States for a hundred years. And simply by filtering seawater in a free process, you have enough fuel for the entire time period of the planet.
So you see, there are a lot of challenges ahead, but it is an example of hundreds and thousands of ideas that we need to move forward. So let’s think: How can we measure ourselves? What should the report card look like? Okay, let's go out and see what we need to do, and then analyze the messiah. By 2050, you have heard many people talk about reducing it by up to 80 percent It is very important to get there. And this 20 percent will be used for things that are produced in poor countries, still some agriculture, thankfully we cleared the forests. So let's get to that 80 percent, for developed countries, including countries like China, we have to cut off power supplies together. So the other assessment is: Are we developing zero emission technology, we have developed it in developed countries and are we in the process of developing elsewhere? This is super important.
This is the key element in creating the report card. So going back from there, what should the report look like in 2020? Well, it still has to have two elements. We need to go through these efficient meters if we want to reduce emissions The less we emit, the smaller the amount of CO2 will be and thus, less temperature. But in some ways, the grading we get there, doing things that do not send us directly to the big reduction, is only equality, or perhaps a little less, important than the others. Which can be part of innovating in these areas. These superpowers that we have to move at maximum speed, and we can measure them in those companies, pilot projects, regulatory things which have changed.
There are many good books that have been written about this. Al Gore's book "Our Solution" and David McKay's book, "Sustainable Airless Energy Heats Up." They really went around it and created a framework to discuss this in general, because we need broad support for this. There are many things that need to come together. So this is a wish. It is really a concrete desire to discover this technology. If you give me just one wish for the next 50 years – I would choose who is president, I would choose a vaccine, something I love, or I would solve this thing that half of CO2 costs be detected – that would be the desire I would solve. This would be one of the greatest importance. If we do not accept this desire, the division between people who think short-term and those who think long-term will be fragile between the US and China, between poor and rich countries, and most of these two billion livelihoods will be much worse.
So what should we do? What am I telling you is to take a step forward and drive? We need to provide much more funding for research. When states come together in places like Copenhagen, they should discuss CO2. They need to discuss the innovation agenda, and should stay at the lowest spending level in these innovative decisions. We need to make the market functional – CO2 taxes, trade – something that sends the price signal there. We need to send the message. We need this dialogue to be more rational, more understandable dialogue, including the steps the government takes. This is an important wish, but I think we can achieve it. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. Chris Anderson: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. So to understand more about TerraPower, well – I think, first, you give me a sense of what the size of the investment will be? Bill Gates: Actually building the program, buying super computers, to hire the best scientists we have ever done, that's just tens of millions, and even after testing our materials abroad in any Russian reactor to be sure the materials will work well, then you will have a raise of a few million.
The legal thing is to build pilot reactors; finding a few billion, finding regulators, places which will be built the first of these. Once you have built the first one, if it will work as advertised, then it will be understandable, because economy, energy density, are as different as nuclear as we know it. CA: and also to understand it well, this involves building them deep underground almost like a vertical pillar of nuclear fuel, a game of spent uranium, and the process starts at the top and then works down. BG: Okay. Today, you are always re-supplying reactors, so you have a lot of people and a lot of checks that can go wrong: that thing there you are opening up there by moving things up and down, it is not a good thing.
So if you have a very cheap fuel that you can install for 60 years – just think about how long – put it down and do not have these kinds of complexities. it will be there and burn for 60 years, and then it is finished. CA: It is the nuclear power plant which possesses the displayed waste. BG: Yes, what happens to the remains, you can leave it there – there is much less loss with this process – and then you can get it, and put it in another and then burn it.
And in fact we started by taking the losses we have now, to sit in these coolers – he is the fuel to start. So the thing that has been a problem with these reactors is actually what we eat, and you are reducing the volume of losses dramatically going through this process. CA: Think, you are talking to different people around the world about the possibilities here. Where is there more interested in doing such things with this? BG: Well, we did not choose a specific place, and it's an interesting thing about anything that's your "nuclear," so we have a lot of interest, that people from companies that have been to Russia, India, China – I saw the energy secretary there, we talked about how we can fit it into the energy agenda.
So I'm optimistic, you know, the French and the Japanese have done some work. This is a variation on something that has been done. It's an advanced breakthrough, but it's like a kind of fast reactor, and many states have built them, so anyone who has built a fast reactor is a candidate to get it and build it. CA: So timeline and opportunity of doing something like this live? BG: Well, we need – for one of them high, a generic thing electrically that is free, we have 20 years to discover and 20 years to unfold. It is a kind of deadline of environmental models has shown us that we need to define it. And you know, TerraPower, if things go well – for which we very much hope – can fully achieve it.
And now thankfully there are quite a few companies – but we need thousands – who else, if scientists do well, if funding for the pilot plan goes well, so that they can compare it to this. And this will be the best multiplied success, for then a multitude of mixed things would be consumed. We really need one to succeed.
CA: Compared to the big challenge opportunity, is the largest we have ever wanted to be built. BG: A renewable energy would be the most important thing. It would be, even without the consent of the environment, but our obligations to the environment are very great. In nuclear space, there are not many innovators. You see, we do not know their work as we know ours, but modular people, they are different approaches. It's a liquid type of reactor, which seems to be harder, but maybe they also say about us. And so there are different types, but the beauty of this is that they are molecular uraniums has a million times more energy than let’s say, coal, and so, if you can deal with the negatives, which are essentially radioactive – potential movements and costs, compared to the effect on the ground and things like that, is almost a special species.
CA: If that doesn't work, then what? Should we start taking emergency measures to try to keep temperatures stable on the ground? BG: If you get into that situation, it 's like eating too much, and you're having a heart attack: Then where do you go? you probably need a heart surgeon or something similar. There is a line of research in so-called geoengineering, m which are some types of techniques dealing with heat to buy us 20 oaw 3o years until we get there. Now, this is just a security policy. Hopefully you don’t need to do that. Some people say that you even have to work on security policies because it can make you lazy, she will keep you eating because you know heart surgery will be there to save you. I'm not too sure this is wise given the importance of the problem, but now there is also talk about geoengineering whether it should be a safeguard in case things happen fast, or does this innovation go much slower than we expect? CA: Climate skeptics: If you have a sentence or two to tell them, how can you convince them that they are wrong? BG: Well, unfortunately, skeptics come in many forms.
Those who give scientific arguments are few. Are saying that there is an assessment of the negative effect dealing with clouds stopping things? There are many, many, few things they can say there is a chance in a million of these things. The main problem we have here is like HIVI. You make the mistake of it now, and you pay for it much later. And so, when you have all kinds of urgent problems, the idea of taking pain now for things we will experience later, and somewhat uncertain pain – in fact, the IPCC report which is not the worst case, and there are people in the rich world who look at IPCC reports and say, "Okay is that a big problem." The fact is that some parts of it are what should lead us forward in this. But my dream here is, if you can make it economical, and meet the CO2 point, then the skeptics say, "All right, I do not worry that no CO2 penetrates, I wish I had a little CO2, outside but he will accept it because it is cheaper than before.
" (Applause) CA: And so, that would be my answer to the Born Lomborg argument, simply if you spend all this energy solving the CO2-IT problem, will take away all other intentions trying to eradicate world poverty and malaria and so on, it is foolish to spend huge resources of money in that direction where there are better things to do. BG: Okay, the Truth About Spending on Resources and Development – let's say the US has to spend 10 billion a year more than it is now – it is not dramatic. I have to get rid of other things. Things that benefit big money, in this, reasonable people may disagree, is when there is something that is uneconomical and you are trying to support it – to me it is a futile loss. While you are very close you are sponsoring the learning diagram and it will be very cheap for you, I believe we need to try more things which have a potential be much less expensive. If the exchange he makes is "Let's make energy super expensive," then the rich can afford it.
I mean, most of us can pay five times as much energy as we pay now. and not to change our lifestyle. Disaster is for those two billion. And even Lomborg has changed that. His reason now is, "Why is development not discussed?" He is still, for the things he has done before, is he still skeptical of the camp, but he found that he was really lonely, and so is doing R there is something wrong The RD part is insanely well funded.
CA: Well Bill, I think I'm speaking on behalf of all the people here to say that your wishes come true. Thank you very much. Bg: Thank you. (Applause).