BEV to invest $1 billion in clean energy technologies

By Erin Voegele | December 12, 2016

On Dec. 12, members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition announced plans to invest more than $1 billion in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund that will finance emerging energy breakthroughs. The fund aims to deliver affordable and reliable energy with the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to near zero.  Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Vinod Khosla are among the coalition members, with the BEV composed of 21 investors.  

"It is extremely exciting for us to launch this fund as the next step in the commitment made by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition last year," said BEV Chairman Bill Gates. "I am honored to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research. Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions-free energy to the world."

BEV will collaborate with other investors, governments, research institutions and corporate partners, bringing to the table an investor-led fund with internal scientific expertise, a long-term horizon, and a tolerance and understanding of the investment risks required to transform energy markets.

According to information released by the coalition, the mission experience and global networks of BEV investors will allow it to attract the best scientists, entrepreneurs, and private sector exports to guide the fund’s trajectory.

Launching of BEV continues the commitments made by these investors when the BEC was launched last year alongside Mission Innovation, a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union to accelerate the pace of energy innovations through smart government spending on research and private spending on commercialization.

BEV is designed to have a 20-year lifespan. In addition, the fund will not be confined to any one segment of the investment pipeline. Rather, it can engage in everything from seed and early-stage investments to commercialization. In addition, BEV will consider investments across a variety of sectors, including electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial system use, agriculture, and energy system efficiency.

The BEC also released its “Landscape of Innovation,” will illustrates the universe of technologies that public and private investors might support in order to move towards a world of zero carbon emissions. Low-GHG liquid biomass-based fuels are among the technologies categorized under the transportation sector. 

Additional information is available on the Breakthrough Energy website