Billionaires form Breakthrough Energy Ventures to Invest in Cleantech Companies

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Bill Gates is heading a new venture fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The Microsoft co-founder aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions through financing clean energy startups and technology.

The philanthropist and businessman is the richest man in the world.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures includes almost two dozen billionaires who will invest up to $1 billion to the fund. Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, Hasso Plattnet, Vinod Khosla and John Doer are among the billionaires that have pledged to invest in the next generation of affordable, emission-free energy.

Gates founded the Breakthrough Energy Coalition in 2015 to bring investors together to develop new energy technologies. The coalition launched with Mission Innovation, which is a research and development initiative.

Countries that are part of Mission Innovation pledged to double their commitment to clean energy by 2020.

The new Breakthrough Energy Ventures will provide funds over 20 years to help companies of all sizes that are developing clean energy technologies. The fund, BEV, will invest in startups and commercialized companies.

The fund will invest in energy sectors, storage, agriculture, efficiency and transportation that offer new ways to move towards the fund’s goal of near-zero emissions.

Investments are long-term, according to the fund

Gates said, “Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to.” The directors of the fund have a net worth of $170 billion. Gates believes technology innovation can solve climate change.

The coalition recognizes that clean energy technology is a long-term investment.

Gates stated, “People think you can just put $50 million in and wait two years and then you know what you got. In this energy space, that’s not true at all.”

The group puts the global energy market at $6 trillion, with a rise to $8 trillion in the next 25 years.

Gates will work with the fund in a hands-on role. He will work with energy companies to help support promising technology to offer clean energy to the world.