And the idea is, despite initial skepticism, it’s selling, including among billionaires. So the next step is to see if there’s any real-world application.
Who could save us?
Bloomberg will convene a group of experts who are unversed in renewables to envision what happens if a high-functioning capitalist market is integrated with economic justice. His assistants Robin Petrie-Norris and Lucinda Hillard have described the project as both a scientific survey and a “citizen science project” that is meant to both inform policy and spark a conversation.
The project asks:
What will happen when solar panels are connected to your grid and when the local supply of methane-capturing natural gas is tapped? How can we make sure that a high-performing, high-cost coal-fired power plant no longer burns dirty fossil fuels to power the capital we rely on to make air conditioners? What markets and institutions – national, international or local – will be at the heart of the new energy economy? How can the democratization of energy markets inspire change and challenge existing elite power structures?
It’s also not your dad’s billionaire philanthropy.
Some of his partners include: Nicholas Stern and Niels Harrit, who served on the panel that advised Gordon Brown on fixing the global financial crisis; Emmanuel Mathiot, a Harvard professor; Agha Hasan Suleman, a founder of the Edible Schoolyard, and Giles Duley, a Paris Prize recipient for giving us a fact-checking tool we can live without.
In the meantime, we’ll go to work trying to figure out just how many new solar panels we’ll need.