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November 30, 2015

Gates Leading New Coalition to Finance Clean Energy Innovations

Breakthrough Energy Coalition Funded By Some of Technology's and Business' Leaders

Bill Gates

Some of technology’s biggest names are joining forces to take on climate change.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates along Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and many others have launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to invest in new clean energy technologies.

Gates, ZuckThe Breakthrough Energy Coalition is made up of a group of private investors committed to supporting companies “that are taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.”

In the early going, investors are unlikely to see much if any return on their investment, but that is likely to change as progress on clean energy accelerates.

As Gates noted in a nine-page paper about the initiative: “Energy is already a trillion-dollar market, and clean energy could one day be a multi-trillion-dollar market.”

Gates, in a blog post, stressed the need for such an initiative.

“The renewable technologies we have today, like wind and solar, have made a lot of progress and could be one path to a zero-carbon energy future,” Gates said. “But given the scale of the challenge, we need to be exploring many different paths—and that means we also need to invent new approaches. Private companies will ultimately develop these energy breakthroughs, but their work will rely on the kind of basic research that only governments can fund. Both have a role to play.”

And that is where the funding from the Breakthrough Energy Coalition comes in. The coalition is made up of investors who can not only “afford to be patient,” for the return on their investment, but also have a desire to accelerate innovation.

Facebook’s leader is exactly that type of investor — someone with deep pockets who also has an interest in protecting the enviroment.

“Solving the clean energy problem is an essential part of building a better world,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page. “We won’t be able to make meaningful progress on other challenges — like educating or connecting the world — without secure energy and a stable climate. Yet progress towards a sustainable energy system is too slow, and the current system doesn’t encourage the kind of innovation that will get us there faster.”

The launch of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition comes as the U.N. Climate Control Conference kicks off this week in Paris.

To learn more, check out Gates’ video below.



Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.