S.4. Renewable Energy

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Bill Gates and the EC launch Breakthrough Energy Europe

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


InnovFin and Bill Gates launch €100 million, green technology funding initiative co-financed by the EIB and private investors from Breakthrough Energy, a US-based private equity pool.

Source: © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart

The European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, joined Bill Gates at a press event in Brussels to announce a new public-private partnership funded by both parties. Breakthrough Energy Europe is a €100 million fund for investing in transformative clean-energy technologies.

Half of the amount will be provided by InnovFin, a European Investment Bank financing tool for research and innovation projects, and the other half will come from Breakthrough Energy. The latter includes Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), a $1 billion fund backed by Gates and a group of some of the world’s richest people, including Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Richard Branson, and Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a network of institutions, corporations, and influential individuals.

The partnership hopes to allocate the full amount within two years and has targeted high-risk, high-reward start-ups as recipients. The receipt of funds will however depend on whether companies are able to demonstrate that their technology has the potential to cut as much as 500 million metric tonnes of annual GHG emissions, although investors do not expect to see any return on investment for 20 years. A team of entrepreneurs, investors and scientists based in Boston, USA will make the final decision about the allocation of funding.a