EU and Bill Gates launch €100m clean energy innovation fund.
The European Commission, European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Ventures have launched ‘Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe’: a €100m fund to support investments in clean energy on May 29th.
The fund is backed by the European Investment Bank contributing €50 million, and by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, chaired by Bill Gates, also contributing €50 million.
The investments will be made in firms innovating to cut emissions in 5 energy sectors; electricity, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and buildings. Breakthrough Energy Investors have called these the ‘Grand Challenges’; the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and the areas in which ventures in innovation investment will have the most impact towards a future of zero emissions.
Bill Gates has said the fund “is a great example of driving innovative ways for the private and public sectors to collaborate, deploy capital, and build companies. We have the resources to make a meaningful difference, and the flexibility to move quickly. That's a rare and powerful combination.”
The fund has been launched under the Mission Innovation initiative, created at the Paris Summit in 2015. The European Commission, comprised of 23 countries that account for 70% of GDP globally, support the initiative, pledging to double their clean energy research and funding by 2021.
COP21 in Paris had also witnessed the creation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of investors intending to encourage the development of clean innovation from laboratories to the market by investing into clean energy technology in Mission Innovation countries.
The fund marks advancement in the Paris pledges as well as the developing relationship between public and private sector bodies in clean energy innovation.
“Business as usual is not an option. We need to boost our investments with more than 500 billion euro each year to achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050,” said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission for the Energy Union. “This is pioneering work: aligning private and public investment in cutting-edge innovation, to the benefit of the Energy Union and our climate.”
Investments have been said to begin in the second half of 2019.
Read the full press release here.
Picture: Pietro Naj-Oleari
30 May 2019