Bill Gates knows just what business he would start with Elon Musk

Bill Gates and Elon Musk shake hands at a breakfast meeting with the theme "Dialogue: Technology & Innovation for a Sustainable Future" during the Boao Forum For Asia Annual Conference 2015 in Qionghai, China.
Imaginechina | AP

Bill Gates and Elon Musk both have their hands full, but if Gates were to have the opportunity to launch a business with Musk, the co-founder of Microsoft says he would have the two of them take on energy alternatives.

"We need clean, reliable cheap energy — which we don't have," Gates says in a reddit Ask Me Anything session from Monday.

"It is too bad the sun doesn't shine all the time and the wind doesn't blow all the time," adds the philanthropist. "So we need some invention — perhaps miracle batteries or super safe nuclear or making sun into gasoline directly."

Musk is already deeply involved in the field. He is the CEO of Tesla, which makes electric cars, and the chairman of SolarCity, which makes solar panels available for homeowners, businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

He is also a trustee of the X Prize Foundation and the Musk Foundation, both of which are investing in clean energy.

We need some invention — perhaps miracle batteries or super safe nuclear or making sun into gasoline directly.
Bill Gates
co-founder of Microsoft

The Trump administration has been dismissive of the threat posed by climate change. In the reddit chat, when a user asks about that, the tech titan responds that it would benefit the White House, and America generally, for that to shift.

"I hope his administration will decide that funding R&D to invent the next generation of energy (clean, cheap, reliable) is a good deal for the U.S. and for the world," says Gates. "Climate change requires cooperation between countries over a period of decades but we don't have much time to waste."

See also:

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have the same definition of success—and it has nothing to do with money

The 3 best pieces of advice Bill Gates would give his 19-year-old self

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think it's 'crazy' to view job-stealing robots as bad

If robots take your job, the government might have to pay you to live

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