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Bill Gates spends over $600 million to walk the talk on cutting carbon emissions

FE Online

The world's second-richest person and Microsoft co-founder — Bill Gates has reportedly purchased the world's first hydrogen-powered superyacht — Aqua for which Gates is believed to have paid whopping $645 million. Around 370 ft long ultra-luxurious vessel Aqua was unveiled at the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show by the Dutch yacht architecture and design firm Sinot Yacht. The liquid hydrogen-powered yacht, which also means that water would be its only emission, underlines Gates continuous call for investing in innovations that would help reduce climate change.

"By investing in energy innovations, we can build on the progress we've made deploying current technology like renewables, which will help accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to a future of reliable and affordable carbon-free electricity," Gates had said in one of his blog posts in May last year. The vessel comprises five decks having space for 14 guests and 31 crew members including having a gym, yoga studio, beauty room, massage parlour and cascading pool on its rear deck, according to Daily Mail.

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Aqua has two large liquid hydrogen tanks at its lowest level that can power the yacht to a top speed of 17 knots and a range of nearly 4,000 nautical miles. Earlier Gates used to rent superyachts for his summer trips to the Mediterranean but now he has one of his own. However, Aqua is expected to be ready to sail in open seas only in 2024.

Gates in 2019 blog had stressed on solving two challenges to achieve zero-carbon electricity generation. First, the need to do more to harness the power of the sun and wind. "And thanks to falling prices for solar panels, wind turbines, and other technologies, deploying renewable energy systems is more affordable than ever before," he said. Second, the need for "big breakthroughs in technologies that will allow us to supply the power grid with clean energy even during windless days, cloudy weather, and nighttime." To solve, Gates added that there is a need of a diverse and flexible mix of energy solutions including improved energy storage systems, supporting renewable energy with a mix of clean energy solutions and high voltage, long-distance transmission lines to connect renewable energy supply with demand.