Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has assembled an all-star team to tackle the issue of renewable energy over the next 20 years.
A year after the Paris climate agreement, a group of high-profile technology executives worth an estimated $170 billion (£135bn) have announced a $1 billion (£800m) investment fund to go towards clean energy technology.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates launched the Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund this week, along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Alibaba Group Holding Chairman Jack Ma.
The find will look to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and finance research into the development and deployment of emerging renewable technologies over the next 20 years.
Gates said: “Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions-free energy to the world. I am honoured to work along with these investors to build on the powerful foundation of public investment in basic research.
“We need affordable and reliable energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas to power the future and to get it, we need a different model for investing in good ideas and moving them from the lab to the market.”
Although green energy is still an under-discussed topic in the technology industry, more and more companies have spent 2016 publicising their renewable efforts. For example, Microsoft increased its data centre renewable energy targets and Google has been using artificial intellignece to cut data centre energy usage.
With BEV now at his disposal, leading philanthropist Gates – along with his all-star collection of investors – will hope to finally push renewable technologies into the mainstream.
In the meantime, there is already plenty of green tech being put to use by other tehcnolgy palyers. Amazon Web Services has a colossal wind farm which it uses to power its data centres with clean energy, Apple has a subsidiary called Apple Energy which it plans to use to sell on excess excess renewable energy, and the UK’s startup scene has also ploughed ahead with exploring the potential for clean tech.