Bill Gates, EU Commission launch €100 million clean energy innovation fund


A new €100 million clean energy investment fund has been launched by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, led by Bill Gates, the European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB).

The fund is backed by the European Investment Bank, contributing €50 million, and Breakthrough Energy ventures, also contributing €50 million.

The fund, initially launched in October 2018, will make investments into firms innovating to reduce carbon emissions in five key energy sectors, identified by Breakthrough Energy Ventures as the “Grand Challenges” – the sectors where the greatest impact on climate change can be made through innovation, namely agriculture, transportation, electricity, manufacturing and building.

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 forms part of 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.

“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 are said the begin during the second half of 2019.