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Three Teens Propose Brilliant Solutions for the Energy Crisis


Before turning 20 years old, Taylor Wilson, William Kamkwamba and Bill Gross had already developed alternative and sustainable energy sources.

Many scientists from around the world are striving to find ways of producing sustainable green energy, carbon emission free. This concern has reached minds from all over the world, among these, young minds. It seems remarkable that before turning twenty, Taylor Wilson, William Kamkwamba and Bill Gross had already created a nuclear fusion reactor, an electricity generating and water pumping windmill, and an accessible solar energy system, respectively. What these teens embody is the idea that an energetic crisis can be avoided if we adapt to the renewable resources at hand —and they prove, fortunately, that there are creative minds working towards making it a possibility.

Taylor Wilson’s project is the reinterpretation of a nuclear fusion reactor. Taylor, who is now 19, was the youngest person ever to achieve nuclear fusion in his home, at the age of 14. However, Taylor did not stop at that, he continued working until he had designed a portable, more affordable and safer model of nuclear fission using small modular fission reactors. His system lasts up to 20 times more than the current one, and is also much safer. What is even more marvellous is that Taylor wants to uses already existing materials, created during the Cold War, but this time they would be employed to create energy that could be transported and used anywhere in the world.

William Kamkwamba’s story is completely different from Taylor’s, who grew up with a good education and his parents’ support. Kamkwamba is a young man from Malawi who had to drop out of school to help his parents work the fields. When he saw that the field was completely dry, he realized it could not offer a future for him or his family. As a result, he began frequenting the library to find possible solutions. The result was a windmill, capable of creating the electricity he had never had in his house and pumping water to the field. His story quickly became known locally and around the world through the TED platform. His following project was creating a windmill that would generate enough energy to power his entire village and water for the surrounding fields.

Bill Gross is now an adult, but when he was only 15 years old he founded his own solar energy company, using information he had learnt in school. He built a Stirling Motor powered by solar energy to fight the energetic crisis of the 1970s. He then sold the diagrams in Popular Science Magazine to pay for his first year at university. He went on to have a productive career to develop an efficient solar energy system.

What these three men have in common is not the age they began creating ideas to improve their environment, but their genuine desire to change the world. Their ability to find something that was missing, whether it was theirs or not, and work towards improving the situation shows that what truly matters is not someone’s age or education, but their willingness to improve their conditions. Their focus on affordable, accessible and sustainable energy, invites us to think that we can avoid an energetic crisis if we change the way we perceive our resources, if we choose renewable energy over oil. These three agents of change mark a tendency that seeks to solve concrete problems in order to achieve a global change.

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