Before every new technology there comes the moment of invention. Before there was ethanol, someone had to look at biomass and say, "There's energy in them thar leaves." For the last day of our Power Trip energy series, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla joins The Takeaway from the TED conference in Long Beach, California. Khosla, whose company risks millions of dollars every year to fund upstart energy technologies, ruminates on creating billion dollar industries out of wild ideas.
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist, addressed the crowd at this year's TED conference with his thoughts on saving the world with a new kind of philanthropy. It's long, but funny. Really.
If you knew where all the energy zooming into your house was being used and wasted, would you change the way you consume power? One company is banking on it. Our Power Trip heads to Redwood City, California to talk to Joe Polastre, CTO and co-founder of Sentilla. The company has invented an unassuming rectangular box that tracks —dollar by dollar, watt by watt—how much energy the appliances in your home are using. Clothes dryers and air conditioners beware: your energy guzzling ways are secrets no more.
When most people stumble across a polluted pond, they would sigh over the fate of our beloved planet and maybe quote some Thoreau. Fortunately, there are some very crafty individuals out there who see a polluted pond and devise a way to both clean up the pond and create a renewable energy source. As part of our Power Trip we go visit an algae company in Washington State where green goo in dirty water is being turned into biofuel.
Want to see the algae start-up in action? Watch the video. For more stories from our Power Trip, click here!