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December 12, 2016updated 20 Dec 2016 10:58am

Bill Gates, Jack Ma and other billionaires back $1bn clean energy fund

The fund will invest in technologies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half a gigaton.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is leading a group of investors, including Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, to launch a $1bn clean energy fund.

Dubbed Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), the 20-year fund is backed by 20 investors including Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, SAP cofounder Hasso Plattner, and several individuals from the energy industry.

The investment fund seeks to invest in early stage innovations and help build the new companies that will deliver emissions-free energy, agriculture, and goods to the world.

It will focus on areas such as electricity generation and storage, agriculture, transportation, industrial processes, and energy-system efficiency.

BEV will invest in technologies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least half a gigaton.

Gates said in a statement, “I am honored to work along with these investors to build onbill gates clean energy fund 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.”

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Gates has personally supported several energy startups and encouraged other wealthy individuals to do the same.

The new fund is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC), which Gates launched in December last year to fund clean energy companies emerging from the initiatives of Mission Innovation.

It is made up of more than 25 investors from 10 countries including Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Virgin Group head Richard Branson.

The group intends to bolster governmental assistance in renewable energy like solar and wind power to $20bn.

Apart from announcing the BEV fund, the group released a framework called, Landscape of Innovation, outlining the areas where they could invest to bring carbon emissions to near-zero.

The plan includes five grand challenges in electricity, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and buildings related to 55 technical quests.

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