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tv   With All Due Respect  Bloomberg  August 6, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EDT

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>> the contemporary art world is vibrant and booming as never before. it is a 21st-century phenomenon, a global industry in its own right. "brilliant ideas" looks for the artists at the heart of this. artist with the power to astonish, challenge, and surprise. in this program, new york-based
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ali banisadr. ♪ narrator: ali banisadr is probably the only artist in the world who has been influenced by the iran-iraq war, graffiti art, and a bizarre medical condition. his paintings have been described as like hieronymus bosch. he produces large canvases that at first seem abstract, but when you look closer, they are full of figures and images. but then again, are they figurative or abstract? his style is instantly recognizable. >> ali banisadr is a painter. i find that interesting, because especially for younger artist, because painting is not considered a young man's game anymore. >> he is able to create a multicultural painterly statement that reflects our
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world today and the strains of our history that make contemporary art so dynamic. >> he is one of that generation of iranians that were born in the 1970's before the revolution, lived through the revolution, then the iraq-iran war. and his family migrated like many families from iran to the united states or europe. but he was interested in being a painter and an artist. he came to new york and studied at the school of visual arts. ali: i started making drawings when the iran-iraq war was happening. i was making drawings based on the sounds i was hearing. because you know, you would -- when the alarm would come on, you would run down to the basement, and then all you are left with was the sounds and vibrations. and i made drawings based on the sounds to try to sort of understand what was happening around me.
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and it was, i guess, my way of dealing with the whole situation. i think the breakthrough moment was when at graduate school when i had to do my thesis, and i got a grant to go to normandy, and one of the things we did was go to the d-day site. i was sort of looking at the scenery, and it looked really familiar to me and brought back a flash of memory, a sort of smell actually of the war. it was so familiar that i was sort of walking around in a daze. so when i came back from normandy, i decided to make these charcoal drawings based on the sounds of explosions. i felt like something happened there, where i felt freed from trying to make a painting. i was able to compose the works
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the way i had been wanting to without strategizing so much. it really showed me a different way of sort of working. narrator: this painting, called "blackwater," refers to the mercenaries sent to the middle east, operating in a strange, secretive underworld. and this one, "incubator," clearly suggests a battle or explosion. the childhood memories of war still seem close to the surface. >> whether or not they are violent, i think it is open to question. if you're looking at a scene of warfare, and to that extent they might be related to the work of hieronymus bosch, which also includes scenes of great barbarity. ali: when i look at hieronymus bosch paintings, it still sort of speaks to what is happening in our time now. it has lived through time, and you can look at the work and see
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those characters living now with different outfits now. i am really intrigued by the way he was able to portray society in his time but still have it live through time and be relevant to our time. "the garden of earthly delight" is probably my favorite painting. i could stand in front of it for hours and hours. what i love about it is that there are stories within stories within stories, and you could sort of -- your eyes just wander around and there is so much to take in, and it is an experience really. it is not something that you could just walk away from. i mean bosch's paintings, the way it has a birds-eye view of the world is what intrigues me. seeing it from a birds-eye point of view, kind of having an overall look, macrolevel of
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society, and i think in that way that is what i tried to do in my work as well. sort of pull back and look at our society from like a birds-eye perspective. ♪ narrator: in 2012, one of ali's paintings was acquired by the islamic art department of the metropolitan museum, one of america's most important art collections. although not yet on show, alongside its historic collections from the middle east, including persian carpets, titles, miniatures, the met now has contemporary art. this painting is called "interrogation." >> as with many of his works, it is the process of vigorous brushstrokes, small flakes, squiggles, and it is really about the brushstrokes, sort of expressions of the horrific sounds actually of war.
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there is an atmosphere of gloom that surrounds this painting, a despair, and i think it's a commentary also on what is going on today in our part of the world. ali: the metropolitan is the museum that i go to the most out of every other museum. it is like my second home. i go there at least once a month or twice a month. to be in this collection among all these artists that i go and look at to learn something from is pretty incredible. ♪ narrator: the persian paintings ali particularly likes are from the 16th century, and especially those of one particular artist. ali: the faces had their own sort of personality and character, where some of the persian miniature paintings, one
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face could be every face. the kind of gave it a little bit of a twist. >> there is a manuscript, the greatest ever produced. i think those battle paintings were inspirational to ali. ali: i do see myself in the tradition, but i think for me what is important is trying to understand the essence of the persian miniature paintings, the essence, as opposed to trying to use the motifs and the figures and sort of make them abstract. so in a way i do see myself as part of the tradition of persian miniature, but i'm not making persian miniature paintings. >> i see ali as a brooklyn artist, which is where he lives and works.
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the extent to which he draws on references from the past and the present i'm sure connects some way to the islamic republic of iran, but the extent to which he could be seen as an islamic artist seems irrelevant for enjoyment of the work. ♪
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narrator: for ali, there is a strange alchemy between his
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sounds and images and ideas that drive the work. ♪ a ali: sound is like the layer underneath layer of all or more and the work that i make, really. ♪ ali: as soon as i put the brush down, the sounds begin. like a short note, or a longer note that sort of carries on. ♪ >> i'm not sure i understand the importance of music in his paintings, but i have a strong
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sense of sound when i look at them. narrator: ali banisadr has synesthesia. it is a condition where different senses like sound and vision get closely allied together or even confused. ali sees or hears his paintings like compositions, and it really influences the way he works. ali: synesthesia for me, i think it is an asset. it's nice to listen to music and have this sort of parallel visual world that is going on at the same time. narrator: the music that ali is listening to for this painting is "ascending bird" by an iranian musician, an iran-meets-brooklyn combination. ali: i like how it begins very quietly and then it just sort of erupts, which is, i guess i could relate to that. and then it just sort of calms
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down and goes up again. ♪ >> ali has had synesthesia since he was a child, and he talks about the iran-iraq war, so that kind of splintering sound of bombs coming has made a huge psychological impact and why wouldn't it? ♪ ali: i mean, with music, i'm not making a soundtrack painting or anything like that. the sound that i am talking about comes from the painting itself. but it has to be exciting to me. it has to be surprising to me. otherwise there is no point. ♪
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>> it is the rhythm that is the most compelling thing in ali's work, and that rhythm is, i think, contemporary. his paintings seem more scattered than fluid. he seems to be reveling in the paint, taking it into a very exciting realm. ♪
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narrator: the ascending bird music refers to an icarus-like iranian legend where a bird flies towards the sun and confuses itself in a moment of transfiguration. death is a transformation. ali: the sound has like this, like the sound of rising, like an opera, where the sound just goes up. and that is sort of what is happening at the top. as you go to the higher level, it transforms into another element and becomes something else like the ascending bird. or even particularly that painting over there, all those figures are transforming into ether. ♪ most of my paintings were all the figures in chaos, animals, gods, machines, everything is,
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and as it lifts up, the painting becomes lighter and there is some kind of hope. the chaos underneath transforms into like another element like ether or something. >> to me, they are like a jumble of notes, and trying to untangle those notes and in a way listen to that sound is much more important to me as a viewer than to actually decode the visual imagery. ♪ ali: they are quiet. [laughter] they are finished when they are quiet. they are not asking for anything more, and they are fine exactly how they are. usually what i do is i turn away a painting for a month or something, then come in one day and quickly turn it around and look at it, and if nothing jumps
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out at me, then it is fine. if there is always, if there is a part that jumps out at me, then i have to deal with it, even though it could be the best part of the painting, maybe i destroy it for the whole thing to function. ♪
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ali: you look around and it is like looking at little worlds there with little people going about their daily lives, sort of like roibal paintings were you have this birds-eye view and you are creating narratives for these little figures that are going about their daily lives, it's kind of fun. >> brooklyn is the most creative borough in new york, and new york is made up of five boroughs.
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the most well-known of course is manhattan, the origin of the art world past, but the cost of living in the center of new york and manhattan has become prohibitive for most artists, and so younger artists have colonized sections of brooklyn's and queens to find cheap living and large working spaces. so the bulk of artists and even successful ones tend to be working in brooklyn. ali: when i came to new york, as i walked around i felt if i could call anywhere home, this is it. i don't feel displaced here really. because of diversity and because of the types of people that live here. you have the best of both worlds really. you can go to the museum as you like, very close. but then youcan sort of get away from everything to come up here. after hours of painting. i have been actually watching
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the sunset every evening, looking at the colors, and somehow these colors have worked their way into my paintings. ♪ ali: this sort of painters color came about from the sunset, but the mood is certainly for me is more so than before reflects my surrounding workspace. >> it is always fascinating to see how an artist adapts to his or her surroundings and how it effects the work. the works from a few years ago seemed to come mainly out of his own imagination. the current work, though, is much more rooted in the reality of his neighborhood. you can see the inspiration of the gates, street characters, the brooklyn light. narrator: ali literally walks the streets gathering
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inspiration, and the things that catch his eye are often surprising. ali: this line element, the sort of motif, i think i see a lot of shutters walking around and i thought, you know, that is kind of an interesting element to use. it separates the space behind from what comes forward. and i always like this sort of element of having deep space fight with flatness. ♪ ali: perhaps someone could rent a room there. [laughter] it is nice how there is like rust, gray, lighter gray, and the yellow. one of the things that lately i have been paying attention to is
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sort of weathered look and kind of making mental notes and how i could use these in my paintings. yeah, you have like a juxtaposition of gritty and nature. hello, i love your garden. walking around brooklyn, you feel the sense of creative energy around and you meet people in the neighborhood. >> he started out as a graffiti artists, then moved with groups of other graffiti artists, and he found that exhilarating. ali: you have to get this. at the beginning in america, it was hard for me to adjust in a school that, you know, getting the best grades would not necessarily make you popular, which in iran it did. [laughter] you had to sort of adjust to a different understanding of what it is to be in america.
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what is brooklyn bizarre? narrator: on the corner, he runs into a graffiti artist and local organizer who has a mission to bring art to the streets. >> usually when you get a mural with your face on it, you're dead. i'm very much alive and well. ali: i see. got it. >> it is better for me to put these things up all over the neighborhood as development is growing and demand is so high. rather than looking at boarded things, i would rather look at art. ali: yeah, yeah. exactly. >> if you look, they will write over everything other than the art. ali: yeah, that is true. it is good that they respect that, you know. narrator: while ali isn't involved in street art anymore, it's not hard to see the traces in his work. this painting is from 2008, where graffiti art seems to confront the persian miniatures.
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many artists make sketches in preparation for the big paintings. ali is turning that idea on its head. he is making charcoal drawings, some of them quite graffiti-like, derived from parts of his bigger oil paintings. this painting is taken from a section of the painting with sunset pinks that he has just finished working on. ali: here is the section where i wanted to capture in the drawing the little children of the painting, and then they sort of grow up and find their own way. ♪ >> ali is also a painter with exceptional technique. this is like a studio in paris in the 1920's. it is not just the high ceilings and the balcony. it is the way the paints or oils are arrayed.
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he is a classic oil painter. he has mastered these century-old techniques. then of course he is one who is very well aware of the world of digital imagery and film, television. narrator: this is one of ali's paintings inspired by cinema. this one is called "ran," after the japanese epic film inspired by kurosawa. >> this is kurosawa's masterpiece. he looks at that film and sees how he could turn that into a painting. his colors are rather denatured. they are not natural colors. they are very noisy colors, noisy, shrill, but they are also beautiful. ♪
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ali: there has been some criticism about my color palette, but i think there has always been this bias against color in western history, where they would think it is primitive or eastern. [laughter] for me, using these colors is a way of capturing that intensity that you get after it has rained and you walk around and everything is sort of like so intense. i think these colors exist in nature and they exist in your imagination, so why can't they be painted? ♪
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♪ narrator: the challenges facing our world are growing all the time. how do we build stronger economies with equal opportunities for all? how do we build a sustainable world for generations to come? how do we protect our cities and harness the power of technology for our common benefit? humanity has always been good at forward thinking. in this series, using the latest bloomberg research and analysis, we will make sense of the challenges of tomorrow, inequality, artificial intelligence, managing
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our megacities, the gender gap, and the demographic time bomb. and in this film, will the sun power a sustainable world? we have relied on fossil fuels, but they are dirty, volatile and finite. re: on the verge of an energy -- are we on the verge of an energy revolution where the power of renewables like solar will change the lives of everyone on earth? ♪ narrator: fossil fuels have built our world. coal and oil are carbon rich resources which pack a mighty punch. they are abundant. they are easy to transport and store.
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>> if we didn't dig up fossil feels, we could not have had an industrial revolution. we would probably have great difficulties feeding our population. never mind having smartphones, electricity and those things. certainly it would have been difficult to build our civilization without fossil fuels. narrator: nearly 100 million barrels of oil are used around the world every day. in 2014, fossil fuels accounted for 85% of world energy consumption. but governments are worried about climate change and pollution. >> we see this in cities from shanghai to mumbai, new york, paris, london. air pollution is becoming an increasingly important issue politically, and you also have climate change. increasingly policymakers world over recognize the need to act. narrator: fossil fuels present a political challenge for the west. the biggest oil reserves are found in regions which are often
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hostile or unstable. as well as political worries, consumer habits are changing. >> historically the energy system has been driven by big investment decisions made by big energy companies supported by government, and increasingly consumers have more choice to enable them to make energy decisions of their own. for example, they might choose to put solar on their rooms, invest in the increasing number of storage options. they might buy an electric vehicle. until recently we were dumb consumers. we had no information about what we were buying, how much we were using, and that is changing rapidly. narrator: but removing fossil fuels from our energy mix is a daunting task, one which could potentially shake our economies to their core. >> if we flip the switch overnight and switched from
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fossil fuels to renewables there , would be widespread chaos because we haven't figured out how we would do it. narrator: but the cost of energy is changing. the financial shocks of the early 21st century may have disrupted the economics of the energy market. >> the financial crisis had two effects. the first was it generated over $190 billion in stimulus funding for the green economy. industrial output fell. electricity and energy demand fell. households became more thrifty and more mindful of energy consumption, thinking about ways to reduce their bills. but you combine weaker demand with renewable energy and when you get is the beginning of a disruption we are currently witnessing. narrator: the results of this disruption can be seen around the world.
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>> as of 2014, greece is generating 9.5% of electricity from solar, germany, 6.3%. those are not massive numbers, but they do illustrate you can have a real economy that runs substantially off of renewables without the sky falling. >> solar itself has come down about 75% in the last five years. wind energy has gotten 25% cheaper in the last 5 years, so those technologies are competing directly with the more conventional sources of electricity. now the question is how do you integrate a system which has variable and intermittent supply and increasingly choppy demand? had you make that work in a lower carbon environment? narrator: tony seba, a writer, academic, and renewable energy investor, believes not only will we make renewables work, but that we are already in the midst of an energy disruption which by 2030 will signal the end of the fossil fuel economy. this disruption will transform
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the lives of every person on the planet, and what is driving it is not pollution or politics. it's price. >> it is soon going to be in everybody's best selfish economic interest to have solar panels, and batteries, and electric vehicles. it is purely economics. that is how technology disruptions happen, purely economics. ♪
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narrator: a stanford university academic and energy investor who has spent a lifetime studying how the rise and fall of technology can change the world. he believes we are now expensing one of the most significant technological disruptions in history. a clean disruption, which by 2030 will herald the end of our current energy mix and the birth of cleaner power in every corner of the world. >> there are four essential technologies that are going to disrupt all of energy an
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transportation. batteries, solar energy, a electric vehicles, and autonomous cars. and these are all disruptive in their own ways, but when you combine them, it is super this relative. exponentially disruptive. and that domination is going to that combination -- and that combination is going to make all of energy and transportation obsolete. narrator: people fear disruptions. but tony seba believes they shouldn't. >> what happens with disruptions is that there is a this doctrine of wealth, but also a creation of new wealth. so the web destroyed a lot of the old publishing world, but also, if you look at the top web companies, the top internet companies, $2.4 trillion in market valuation. $2.4 trillion. this is the new wealth. narrator: tony is a long-term
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investor in solar energy, which he believes is leading this clean disruption. whilst that accounts for barely 1% of world energy today its , growth has been rapid, and its costs are falling. >> the adoption of solar has been doubling every two years since 1990. in australia, there are 1.5 million homes with solar energy. that is 25%. solar in australia on the rooftop, unsubsidized, is cheaper than the cost of transmission. so think about what that does to the existing business model of central generation. even if you can generate at zero in your nuclear or coal plant or whatever, when you add the cost of transmission, you still cannot compete with solar. ♪
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narrator: renewables have historically been plagued by the problem of storage. the ability to keep enough energy in reserves on the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. but here too, the economics are changing. >> so lithium batteries are the form of energy storage that are winning right now. and lithium ion batteries have been improving about 16% per year on a dollar per kilowatt hour basis. so if you keep that 16% cost curve going essentially by 2020, , the average american household which consumes more electricity , than anyone on earth per capita will be able to store a full day of electricity for one dollar a day. ♪ >> in australia, it is already becoming financially viable to store a few hours of electricity.
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within 4years, 5 years, it is going to basically be the cost of a latte that you will be able to store several hours of sunshine everyday, for the cost of a latte. solar is already cheaper unsubsidized than any other form of energy, so we are getting to the tipping point. in technology, what happens with the tipping point is that it accelerates. the mandate seller it's dramatically and disruptions happen very quickly. the point at which rooftop solar plus the battery in your home, in your factory, in your business, in your hotel becomes cheaper than the cost of transmission. that is going to happen sometime between 2019 and 2022 everywhere on earth. narrator: this disruption will transform not just our homes,
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but the way we get from a to b. >> transportation is undergoing the most massive disruption in a century. essentially the last time we went to this disruption is when we went from horses to electric streetcars and internal combustion engine cars, which happened a little more than 100 years ago. so essentially three things are going to happen in transportation and are already happening in transportation. all vehicles will go from internal combustion engine, basically fossil fuel power, to electric vehicles. they will go from 100% human driven to 100% computer-driven, and it will go from car ownership to essentially not owning a car. narrator: the implications for companies that build cars are enormous. it could mean the end of the automotive industry as we know it.
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>> when vehicles go to all electric, self driving, and car share, we will get the same level of service. basically you will have a car picking you up at home, taking you to work, and then taking you to the bar, and then taking you to the supermarket, and then back home for 90% less cost. narrator: and the implications reach far beyond who builds, sells, and drives cars. tony believes that the design of our cities, the urban fabric of our lives, could change forever. >> now, what is going to happen then is that the number of cars that we need is going to go down. so think about cities like los angeles, where 60% of the land mass is parking and roads. basically 80% of that is going going to be obsolete. this will give the world for the
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first time in a century the possibility to redesign our cities, to totally redesign the landscape. how we want our cities to be. narrator: taken together, these changes amount to almost a complete revolution in energy use. whilst oil may still be needed for aviation and the manufacture of plastics, tony things the demand for fossil fuels, fuels which have built the world as we know it, is going to collapse. oil is going to go through what salt went through in the middle ages. 60% of petroleum goes into transportation, 60%. that is gone. things like coal, gone. we will have zero need for coal. things like natural gas, except for fertilizers, gone. that market will implode totally. narrator: it took decades for the oil to dominate the world economy.
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tony believes the dominance of renewable energy will happen much more quickly. >> when we transition from biomass, to coal, to oil, and so on and so forth, we went from one kind of mining energy resources to another, and those conditions took a long time, 60 to 100 years, but technology disruption does not take place in 100 years. they take place in months. solar is a technology. the energy source as the sun. it is free, so we don't need to go necessarily from one extraction to another. it is basically solar panels. period. the same thing with electric vehicles. it is a technology. narrator: the shape of renewable technology is changing all the time. technology now exist to manufacture transparent solar panels. >> now when we think solar, we
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think rooftops, but in the not-too-distant future, and only a few years, we will be able to convert our windows. i mean imagine every time you look up and you see one of these high-rises full of windows, that could be a three megawatt solar power plant. if all we do is go to to the existing technology cost curve for batteries and solar and electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, essentially all of energy and transportation is going to be obsolete by 2030. narrator: the clean disruption tony foresees has huge political implications. it has the potential to transform the economies of entire nations and change the balance of power across the world. >> for the middle east, the implications are massive. when the west does not value,
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when oil has no strategic value, then are we, the west, going to be involved in the middle east the way we are involved now. no, we are not. so california, korea, germany, or china, the countries that lead the clean disruption are going to be the countries that lead the 21st century. ♪ narrator: in the north african desert, one country is embracing this bright future. morocco has just switched on the world's largest solar power plant. soon energy from the sky will be exported to the richest economies in the world with the potential to transform the lives of millions.
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♪ narrator: tony seba is an academic and investor in renewable energy. he believes we are in a dramatic transition. at the center of this is solar power. enough sun falls on the surface
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of the earth in one hour to power the entire planet for one year, but the technology needed to capture it, store it, and export it has been problematic. until now. >> here on the left, you can see the solar plant. as you can see, you have a big solar field with parabolic mirrors, and you have about 480 hectares, which is the total area. ♪ narrator: this is the solar power plant on the edge of the sahara desert in morocco. the first of four gigantic plans, which when finished, will come behind to make the largest concentrated power plant in the world. >> we have the surface of about 4 million square meters of mirrors. about 500,000 mirrors.
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they are separated into seven areas because of the altitude and because of the water drainage system. it will be enough to provide energy for 2 million people. narrator: the project uses new technology to overcome one of the biggest drawbacks of solar power, the inability to deliver energy when the sun is not shining. >> the focal axis in the very center, you have a liquid called heat transfer liquid. so the rays of the sun are converging in this fluid. ♪ >> you can see that we have two tanks, very big tanks, 45,000 tons of molten salt that keeps the energy after a heat exchange the htf for about three
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hours. so in case we need to produce electricity after the sun sets, we can take this salt and make the exchange with the htf and the water to produce electricity. for the future plants that are being built right now, we will be able to produce between 7 to eight hours of extra production during the night. narrator: it promises the possibility of 24 hour solar power. it also promises to transform the economy of morocco, which imports 94% of its energy from abroad. as well as transforming the morocco'sonomy, -- economy, solar could turn the nation into an energy exporter. >> [speaking french]
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narrator: elsewhere in africa, a more modest but no less significant technology is being developed. millions of disused plastic bags float across the south african countryside. it is a startup which has pioneered a way of turning this dirty plastic into clean energy. >> they bring the plastic from
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the dumping sites and then we have a washing station. there is a washing station they wash the plastics. then we iron the plastic so it becomes sheets. then we go to a cutting station, where they cut it into a pattern and then it goes to the machinist. narrator: these bags are fitted with a solar powered charger. they charge during the day and provide light at night. >> this is a solar panel. when the child goes to school, it charges. then after, you put it back in the jar. then we are going to put it in the bag and light it.
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that is how we do it. narrator: the aim is to solve three problems. eliminate a plague of plastic litter, provide light for students, andest provide safe electricity for families who often use kerosene or other dangerous fuels to light their homes. >> you don't use electrcity or to spend money to use this, so it helps a lot. poor people, they use it a lot. ♪ narrator: this factory is making 500 school bags a month. it is an example of how energy is moving away from large-scale utilities into the hands of small businesses and individuals. and from fossil fuels to renewable power. 150 years after the birth of the modern oil industry, are we about to enter a new era of energy? >> i think to bet against the renewable energy sector is to
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bet against modernization. it is to bet against technology, is to bet against climate science. you start to have to make a lot of bets that don't look great by themselves. ♪ >> we don't need breakthroughs in solar or wind. we don't need breakthroughs in autonomous vehicles. we don't need breakthroughs and batteries. if all we do is take the existing technology cost curve and the existing improvement of these technologies, essentially this clean disruption will happen. it is inevitable, and it will happen for 2030. ♪
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♪ welcome boys and girls and political children of all ages to the best of "all do respect." hillary enjoys what looks to be a sizable convention bump. donald trump had a rougher week. controversies ranging from his battle with a gold star family to his refusal to back prominent republicans running for reelection. a new batch of national and state polls suggest that new cycle after betty cycle finally caught up to the republican nominee. againnational survey once shows hillary clinton leading donald trump by do d


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