Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg Launch Historic Clean Energy Fund

December 1, 2015 | Joanne Kennell

Bill Gates - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008
Photo credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The world needs this.

Great news from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris!  Yesterday, Bill Gates announced the launching a multi-billion dollar initiative — Breakthrough Energy Coalition — to fund clean energy technologies.  But he is not the only tech billionaire to sign on to the project — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard, as well as billionaire George Soros and the Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal have all promised their support.

The purpose of the project is to eventually replace all fossil fuels with sustainable and affordable energy production since the world is expected to use 50 percent more energy by 2050.

Now this is not a purely noble endeavor by these tech giants.  I doubt there are many people in this world that would invest billions of dollars without some return on their investment.  Gates has said that the primary goal of the coalition is as much about accelerating clean energy technology as it is to make a profit.  Even so, it is definitely a long-term investment and the entrepreneurs seem serious about tackling the issues of climate change.

SEE ALSO: Is China Taking the Lead on Clean Energy?

Alongside the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, 19 governments, including the US, China, India and Canada, have also committed to double their spending over the next five years on clean energy development in an effort named Mission Innovation.  President Obama called the effort a “groundbreaking new public-private initiative.”

The fund will focus on five key areas: electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial uses, agriculture, and projects designing more efficient energy systems.  "The renewable technologies we have today, like wind and solar, have made a lot of progress and could be one path to a zero-carbon energy future. But given the scale of the challenge, we need to be exploring many different paths — and that means we also need to invent new approaches," Gates said in a statement.

Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post said, "We already invest in renewable and clean energy for our Facebook facilities today, but we believe that building a positive future for the next generation also means investing in long-term projects that companies and governments don’t fund."

Gates has committed one-billion of his own money into the fund, and he has even published a paper on why we should invest in new clean energy technologies, which you can download at this link.

Hot Topics

Facebook comments