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Clean Energy Fund

A multi-billion dollar fund has been established to spur private sector support of clean energy innovations.

The fund, headed by computer billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates. Known as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and launched at the COP21 Paris climate change summit earlier this week, this fund will assist in making green energy available throughout the world and bridging gaps with poorer developing countries, in particular. It will do this through supporting the ‘most transformative ideas’ and early-stage programs with near zero carbon emissions producing reliable, affordable options from research institutions into reality. The underlying principle is that innovation is required to bring the costs of clean energy down, so that it is comparable or lower than traditional coal-based energy generation. The fund hopes to speed up progress in this area to improve living standards and conditions for those who need it most.

Twenty-eight of the world’s richest people have so far committed to this cause, with others expected to join as the program gains more momentum. Some of the people already involved include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Virgin founder Richard Branson, Jack Ma Alibaba executive, and Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani. It should be acknowledged that whilst the impetus of this project is to improve worldwide living conditions, this is not just a philanthropic cause, but probably a good business investment too with renewable energy touted as a huge growth market into the future (50% more needed by 2050).

Source: CNN Money. 30 November, 2015. ‘Bill Gates launches multi-billion dollar clean energy fund’. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/29/news/economy/bill-gates-breakthrough-energy-coalition/ Accessed: 2 December, 2015.

Schiller, B. 30 November, 2015. ‘Billionaires launch a massive clean energy fund, but can the world wait for its breakthroughs?’. Available at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3054033/billionaires-launch-a-massive-clean-energy-fund-but-can-the-world-wait-for-its-breakthroughs Accessed: 2 December, 2015.

The Verge. 30 November, 2015. ‘Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg launch clean energy research fund’. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/30/9817766/bill-gates-mark-zuckerberg-breakthrough-energy-coalition-cop-21 Accessed: 2 December, 2015.

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The Author

Skye Douglass

Skye is currently studying her Masters in Water Resources Management through Central Queensland University and has previously completed a Bachelor of Science and Honours degree through the University of Southern Queensland. She has worked as a researcher and consultant for over 15 years on a range of different projects including wildlife surveys, wildlife relocations, environmental and wildlife impacts, feral animal and weed species management, revegetation and native plant species identification. Most recently her interests have been in sustainable agriculture, water management, groundwater use and environmental management. She is passionate about sustainable living and minimal impacts management and endeavours to find innovative and cost effective solutions to real world problems.

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