Bill Gates is taking climate change head on with his newly formed Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund. Gates is leading the fund along with a network of investors worth $170 billion, including Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
BEV will donate more than $1 billion into clean energy innovation projects over the next 20 years, focusing on its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates says.
This move by Gates comes after his commitment last year to personally invest an additional $1 billion into clean energy.
However, this move will shift Gates away from his home turf of information technology.
“People think you can just put $50 million in and wait two years and then you know what you got,” Gates says. “In this energy space, that’s not true at all.”
A driving force behind the fund is to take innovative new technologies from the lab to the marketplace. Currently, the federal government funds a huge percentage of fundamental research efforts in fields such as energy storage, which are the subsequently commercialized by private investors.