Thursday, May 30, 2019

Bill Gates Launches European Clean Energy Fund

With the goal of getting capital intensive startups off the ground, a new $111 million clean energy innovation fund has been launched.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe (BEV-E) has been launched in partnership with the European Commission. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and BEV are providing half the capital each.

The initiative is the work of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the $1 billion fund launched by Bill Gates in late 2016. It has pulled together a coalition of corporate and private investors including SAP, GE, Jeff Bezos, Vinod Khosla and Jack Ma.

Support will be provided to European companies working to “bring radically new clean energy technologies to the market.” Investments are expected to start before the end of 2019. EU Member States and countries participating in the Horizon 2020 program are eligible for BEV-E funding.

“Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe is a great example of driving innovative ways for the private and public sectors to collaborate, deploy capital, and build companies,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Speed is not the only challenge facing the European Commission’s goal of developing a carbon-neutral economy. The pilot is a drop in the ocean compared to the required investment.

Beyond Europe, Breakthrough Energy Ventures has already backed a number of firms operating in a broad range of fields including energy storage, fusion, geothermal and microgrids.

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