The Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC), a group of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and institutional investors, chaired by Bill Gates announced that they will invest more than $1 billion into clean energy research. The new fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), will invest in promising zero-emissions energy technologies with a long, up to 20-year, horizon.
“I, along with an incredible group of people who care a lot about energy innovation, am announcing the launch of Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), a fund that will invest more than $1 billion in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world,” Gates said in introducing the fund.
Citing climate change, a growing population and the need and expectations of more energy generation Gates said: “The world needs a new energy supply—one that doesn’t contribute to climate change. Climate change is a serious threat, especially in the poorest parts of the world.” He added, “We need affordable and reliable energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas to power the future—and to get it, we need a different model for investing in good ideas and moving them from the lab to the market.
Gates, the Founder of Microsoft, along with other influential investors and entrepreneurs, among them: venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Chairman John Doerr, Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, Khosla Ventures Founder Vinod Khosla, Laura and John Arnold Foundation Co-Chair and former Energy Hedge Fund Manager John Arnold, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, and SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner founded BEC in December 2015. They founded the organization in conjunction with Mission Innovation, an international government-fueled effort created by 22 countries to invest in clean energy.
“It’s the next step in an effort that began last December, when we brought together private investors from around the globe who were passionate about solving this problem,” Gates said. “The coalition partnered with Mission Innovation, an initiative of more than 20 countries and the European Union to double their investment in clean energy research and development in the next five years.”
The new fund is focused on companies and technologies that show great promise for moving the world toward an emission-free future, the organization said in a release. While BEC and its partners have already begun investing in such opportunities, the BEV fund was developed over the past year.Tweet