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Bill Gates Leading $1b Green Energy Fund
Bill Gates Leading $1b Green Energy Fund

Bill Gates Leading $1b Green Energy Fund

Bill Gates Leading $1b Green Energy Fund

Nearly two dozen of the world’s most successful business leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will invest up to $1 billion in a fund led by Microsoft-co-founder Bill Gates that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by financing emerging clean energy technology.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund includes John Doerr, chairman of venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, 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, Fortune reported.

“I am honored to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research,” BEV chairman Bill Gates said in a statement Sunday night. “Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions-free energy to the world.”

The new fund is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which Gates launched in December 2015 in an effort to bring together a global group of investors who were committed to developing the nest-generation of energy technologies.

The BEC was launched alongside Mission Innovation, a multi-billion clean energy research and development initiative on the opening day of the UN climate change summit in Paris.

Countries participating in the initiative are committed to doubling their clean energy technology research and development budgets by 2020 and private investors will boost their own investments in the sector.

The new fund, which will have a 20-year lifespan, is designed to be both broad and scientific—two seemingly contradictory focuses—in its investment approach. The fund will not be confined to a specific segment of the investment pipeline, which means it will put money into startups at the earliest of stages all the way to companies that have reached commercialization.

It will consider investments across a broad number of energy sectors, including electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial system use, agriculture and energy system efficiency.

BEV is meant to look toward startups and companies with the best energy technology—with the understanding that these might be long-term and involve the kind of risks required to transform energy markets, according to the coalition.

In recent years, solar panel installations have boomed in the US, China, and parts of Europe thanks to a combination of incentives, venture funding and regulations. However, commercializing low-cost bio fuels, energy storage, as well as carbon capture and storage have hit a myriad of headwinds.

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