What if instead of closing coal plants they were repowered with a new generation of emission-free heat sources? This would leverage existing infrastructure, transmission lines, industry knowledge, workforces, capital, and supply chains to accelerate the clean energy transition. It would also ensure continuity for communities reliant on existing power plants for energy, jobs, tax revenue, and continued economic development.
Watch this interview to learn how Microsoft and TerraPraxis are working together to enable the energy transition.
"Technology is a crucial aspect of [the clean energy transition] and I know you spent a lot of time talking about how technology can facilitate that transition. I lose track of the number of partnerships you sign, but one that caught my attention: TerraPraxis which is a strategic collaboration to decarbonize coal, and I believe the hope is to take a fleet of 2,400 coal plants and then get them to then run on clean energy. I love this idea of investing in renewables but also transitioning some of the dirtier forms of electricity production we have and then making them cleaner. How do we do that without China on board, or are they on board?"
- Julia Chatterly, CNN
"I believe there will come a time when we increasingly get every country on board. When you look at a coal-fired electricity plant, there are 2 ways to look at it. One way is to say this is a plant that needs to close, to stop, so it stops pumping carbon into the air. The other way to look at it is the way that Terra Praxis—this wonderful NGO—and Microsoft and MIT are looking at and saying this is a coal plant that can be converted to a new generation of nuclear power, small modular reactors. It is already connected to the grid. It has a trained workforce, typically 1,200 people in a rural community that know how to run a power plant. It's got water cooling capacity. You can cut the cost of constructing a new nuclear plant by 1/3 by converting these plants, and we can use the power of cloud computing, AI, and data to accelerate all of that."
- Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President
"OK I'm on board. I like that idea. You're giving me the level of enthusiasm that's required."
- Julia Chatterly, CNN