Members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC), a group led by tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates, have established a new investment fund. Called Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), the fund will invest more than $1 billion to finance emerging energy breakthroughs to deliver affordable and reliable energy with the goal of reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions to near zero.
The BEC is a group of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and institutional investors who last November in Paris announced their commitment to help bring promising new zero-emissions energy technologies to market. BEC’s original commitment was made in parallel to the launch of Mission Innovation, an initiative by countries to double clean energy research and development.
“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,” says BEV Chairman Bill Gates in a press release. “I am honored 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 emissions-free energy to the world.”
According to coalition, BEV will collaborate with other investors, governments, research institutions and corporate partners, bringing to the table 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. The coalition notes BEV is not confined to any segment of the investment pipeline – it will build companies, engage in traditional venture investment, and have the ability to invest for growth as innovations mature. Consisting of 21 investors located around the world, BEV will have a 20-year lifespan.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz praises the new fund.
“One year after the landmark Paris climate agreement was agreed upon, creating a multitrillion-dollar global market for clean energy innovation, the establishment of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition fund highlights the opportunity for countries participating in Mission Innovation to capture this investment potential, and then establish a strong position in that massive market,” says Moniz in a statement.
“I want to thank the Breakthrough Energy Coalition for their dedication to this global effort to reduce clean energy technology costs that will deliver the deep decarbonization we need to keep global warming in check.”