What if we could not only harness the power of the sun, but actually use it to run the entire planet?

Concentrated solar power (CSP) has the potential to do just that — using arrays of revolving mirrors called heliostats, light is reflected into a massive receiver. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, the cost to replicate these Sunlight Refineries™ is dropping. Soon solar energy will be cleaner and cheaper than using fossil fuels, which could mean adoption on a global scale.

Heliogen, a company founded by Bill Gross and backed by Bill Gates, wants to eliminate all uses of fossil fuels. Using cameras, AI, and machine learning, they are working to make these CSP systems smarter and much more efficient. This episode is from Hard Reset, a Freethink original series about rebuilding the world from scratch and reimagining everything from first principles.

Originally published by Big Think


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