Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bill Joy's Tech Breakthrough Article In Washington Post

Bill Joy, Sun co-founder and the "Edison of the Internet", has written an article in yesterday's Washington Post titled"

Three tech breakthroughs that will help transform the world

 Bill writes,  "Information technology has rapidly transformed our economy but not areas such as energy, materials and food, where we desperately need sustainability. We need to change our course."

 He expands on these topics, "Using a target list of 25 clean-tech “grand challenges,” I worked for over a decade to find, fund and commercialize big breakthroughs. One such challenge was radically cheaper batteries."

 I blogged about this six weeks ago in a post  Bill Joy's Investment In The "Jesus Battery" 

It is also interesting when Bill writes about the grid:

"But electric vehicles won’t be truly emissions-free unless we decarbonize the grid. Rechargeable alkaline batteries can be made so cheaply that we can imagine a grid where we can store a kilowatt-hour of electricity for less than a cent, saving wind and solar energy so it is available when we need it. This could be a grid that runs entirely on renewables; a grid that can move energy 24 hours a day from producers to and between storage locations; a grid where utilities can be not just providers of power but provide a marketplace for energy; a grid where fossil fuel and other existing generation capacity is used only for backup in extreme cases."

Bill Joy is a genius and it is fascinating to watch what big problems he is trying to solve now.  Long ago he established himself as a legend in the computer industry going back to UCB and then with Sun Microsystems.  He ends with the "grand challenge" that has defined his professional life since leaving Sun.

"We sought “grand challenge” breakthroughs because they can lead to a cascade of positive effects and transformations far beyond their initial applications. The grand challenge approach works — dramatic improvements reducing energy, materials and food impact are possible. If we widely deploy such breakthrough innovations, we will take big steps toward a sustainable future."