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Breakthrough Energy, billionaire-backed climate investor, joins UK government in $525 million fund

Breakthrough Energy, the billionaire-backed investment fund founded by Bill Gates and focused on mitigating climate change, is joining the UK government to launch a $525 million fund focused on accelerating adoption of new technologies.

With a GBP200 million commitment from Breakthrough and a matching amount from the UK government, British companies and businesses in Northern Ireland focused on climate change mitigation will have access to funds to support their development.

The Breakthrough Energy Catalyst program is a model for public-private partnerships that bring together businesses, governments and individuals to invest in climate technologies.

The areas of focus are: green hydrogen, long duration energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture.

These technologies represent some of the long-term solutions (identified by Bill Gates himself) that will be needed if the world is to avoid a climate disaster.

The UK’s commitment is part of its GBP1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, announced earlier this year as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 Point Plan for Green Industrial Revolution.

“We will only achieve our ambitious climate goals if we rapidly scale up new technologies in areas like green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels — technologies that seemed impossible just a few years ago,” said Johnson in a statement.

The UK partnership mirrors a similar commitment that Breakthrough has made with the US, announced earlier this year. As part of that commitment, Breakthrough committed to deploy $1.5 billion over the next three years into technologies developed in the US aimed at climate change mitigation.

“Our partnership with the United Kingdom will accelerate the deployment of these critical climate solutions, helping to make them more affordable and accessible,” Gates said in a statement. “In order to achieve net-zero emissions, we need to reduce the costs of clean technologies so they can compete with and replace the high-emitting products we use today — I call this difference in price the Green Premium.”

Over the next decade, Catalyst said it would work with the UK Government to support the commercialization of decarbonization technologies.

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