Bill Gates unveils clean investment plan

20 December 2016

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has brought together a group of high-value investors to create a $1 billion fund aimed at financing technology development in the clean energy sector.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund will invest in the commercialization of new technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comes a year after the creation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition by Gates and other partners.

“It is extremely exciting for us to launch this fund as the next step in the commitment made by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition last year,” said BEV Chairman Bill Gates. “I am honoured to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research. Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions­free energy to the world.”

BEV will collaborate with other investors, governments, research institutions and corporate partners to finance emerging energy breakthroughs to deliver affordable and reliable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will provide “an investor led fund with internal scientific expertise, a long-term horizon and a tolerance and understanding of the investment risks required to transform energy markets”, BEV said in a statement.

It will also be capable of attracting “the best” scientists and other advisors and experts to help it guide the fund’s trajectory, it said. The fund will build companies and engage in traditional venture investment, while the Breakthrough Coalition will explore ways of creating an “ecosystem” of investment and expertise to move technologies forward.

Investors behind the find include Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, former energy hedge fund manager John Arnold, and SAP cofounder Hasso Plattner.

“We need to create new companies to push the boundaries of innovation,” said Plattner. “The businesses that BEV will fund and grow are going to develop the disruptive technology to help satisfy the world’s energy needs while also limiting the impact on our environment.”


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