The Handelsblatt newspaper asked Gates whether Germany’s move to completely phase out nuclear power next year was a mistake.
The businessman said each country must decide for itself if it wants to shut down existing reactors, but doing so “makes it harder to guarantee the security of [the energy] supply and favorable prices.”
“We must not forget: The demand for electricity will increase dramatically because we will need it not only to power our cars, but also have our homes heated and convert many factories into using it. That’s why the reliability of power supply is so crucial,” Gates said.
If we achieve a miraculous breakthrough in the cost of electricity storage, we won’t have to worry about nuclear power. But in the meantime, forms of energy not dependent on the weather – which produce electricity even when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine – will be helpful in delivering the reliability we need.
“We must not rule out any solution as long as we have carefully examined the costs and safety,” the Microsoft co-founder said.