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Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and other billionaire investors worth a combined fortune of US$170 billion are launching on Monday the Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund, committing to invest more than US$1 billion in clean energy technologies.
Investor-led fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures aims at financing emerging energy breakthroughs that can deliver affordable and reliable zero carbon emissions, BEV said in a statement.
Apart from Gates, Bezos and Branson, BEV’s board and investors include the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman; Jack Ma, the executive chairman of China’s Alibaba Group; and Hasso Plattner, the co-founder & chairman of Germany’s , to name but a few.
According to estimates of individual wealth by Bloomberg and Forbes, BEV’s directors have a combined net worth of almost US$170 billion.
The fund will review four criteria when deciding what to invest in. BEV’s investment criteria are as follows:
1) Climate impact: This includes technologies with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least half a gigaton.
2) Investment Prowess: This would evaluate companies that have the potential to attract capital other than BEV.
3) Technologies with scientific proof of concept
4) Companies that need BEV for flexible investment capabilities and a significant global network
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The BEV fund will invest across several sectors: electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial use, agriculture, and energy system efficiency. The investors would be looking for both novel technology developers and those who strive to make technology dramatically cheaper, more scalable, or more efficient. Rapid scaling potential would be the key investment factor, it said in its principles and approach to future investment.
It should not come as surprise that Bill Gates is leading such a venture into clean energy. Microsoft Corporation said last month that it was in the process of converting its datacenter in Cheyenne Wyoming to rely entirely on wind energy.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.