Breakthrough Energy Ventures declared its 5-part investment strategy last week and since then there has been online chatter indicating many industry giants gathering around the process. The initiative was launched in 2015 at the Paris climate conference and started making buzz again after the One Planet Summit which took place in Paris, France on 12th December this year headed by the French president Emmanuel Macron (read more:“France, Macron and the 18 Scientists” )
The group's commitment statement indicates that the main concern with the implementation of clean energy solutions across the world is the time taken for the technology transfer. It states, “Unfortunately, these energy transitions can take hundreds of years, and we don't have hundreds of years to transition to clean energy. Climate change is already harming hundreds of millions of people. The world must speed up the cycle of innovation”. To speed up the cycle of innovation there should be significant resources allocations. We see nowadays that most of the developing countries opt to go for hydro energy solutions to increase the renewable quota than committing to solar, wind and hybrid solutions. Such countries who jump into projects without proper assessments has been facing numerous problems with their projects and balancing the energy mix. Therefore, timely intervention from an initiative like this is useful. But we need to stress that the interventions should align with community needs rather than blind technology transfer. Listed under the areas of focus in their recent updates are
Alternative building materials
They state these focus areas are determined based on the megatrends shaping the world in next 50 years. It is quite interesting the attention given to Geothermal (we will explore this in a later article) .Furthermore, this coalition also commits to build technologies that change the way the people live, eat, work, travel and to introduce mechanisms to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change. Therefore, their scope is likely to go beyond clean energy and hopefully account for the civil conflicts, human movements, and population growth among other global issues.
Let's also look at who are included in this coalition. So far commonly known entities like Microsoft, Virgin, General Electric, and University of California are included and individuals like Jeff Bezos (The richest person in the world), Mukesh Ambani, Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma, Retan Tata and Mark Zuckerberg are listed. So far in total the list includes 17 entities and 31 individuals. Under another sub-topic they list the “Mission Innovation countries” highlighting the commitments of USD 31 billion to support the development of new and enhanced low-emissions technologies. These countries are listed here. The newsroom linked to their website mostly highlights news on Bill Gates commitments to the venture and we hope to see more updates on the work they do and specifics on the projects soon.