DALLAS – Some big names with big money say they plan to put more than $1 billion into developing technologies that will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and lower the price of energy. Bill Gates said the fund plans to make its first investments next year and run for 20 years. A year ago, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. started the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, whose members include Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros and Richard Branson, with a commitment to invest in new types of energy. Monday's announcement comes less than a week after President-elect Donald Trump announced he will nominate the attorney general of Oklahoma, a climate-change skeptic, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The fund, however, was in the works long before the election.
Billionaire philanthropist and investor Bill Gates is launching a $1 billion fund, called Breakthrough Energy Ventures, to invest in new forms of clean energy. Gates has gathered a group of like-minded investors, including Silicon Valley venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla and former hedge manager John Arnold, to join him in the fund. In a post on his Gates Notes blog, Gates said the fund will invest in "scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world." "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 said in his post. The announcement of the fund comes a year after the United Nations climate change talks in Paris, where Gates unveiled the Breakthrough Energy Coalition – a group of some 20 billionaire business leaders from around the world, plus institutional investors, who committed to investing in new forms of energy.
Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund that will invest in clean energy technology to combat climate change. Some of the world's wealthiest business leaders are joining forces with Gates on the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma. The combined net worth of the fund's directors is roughly $170 billion, according to Quartz. "I am honored to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research," Gates said in a statement on Sunday. "Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions-free energy to the world."
The trick is the use of computer vision (aka a form of AI) to align a large array of mirrors as they reflect sunlight on a solitary target. That allows for the kind of accuracy that hasn't been possible until now. There's still a lot of work to go before the technology enters real-world use. Heliogen achieved the record heat levels the first day of its plant's operation, company founder Bill Gross told CNN. While impressive, it won't immediately translate to a practical solution.
The Queensland government appears to have stalled on plans to create its own clean energy generation company, even as it delivered a state budget propped up by a surge in coal royalties. The June 2017 "powering Queensland" plan introduced the idea of CleanCo, a government-owned renewable energy corporation that would operate renewable generators and develop new projects. Recommendations to establish CleanCo and restructure the state's existing generators were due in the first half of 2018. State budget papers reveal that timeline has been stretched. "The government established a taskforce to investigate the establishment of CleanCo and will continue to investigate and engage with stakeholders across 2018-19 to deliver on its commitment," the budget papers say.