Solar chemical technology, flow batteries and solar paint are three examples of promising technologies motivating Bill Gates as he announces a multi-billion dollar private sector coalition alongside top billionaires to accelerate clean energy innovation.
In a paper released on his official blog over the weekend, the world's richest man explained the pressing need for increased public and private funds into research and development (R&D) to make renewable energy cheaper and more effective.
"Promising concepts and viable products are separated by a Valley of Death that neither government funding nor conventional investors can bridge completely."
By launching the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, he hopes capital from the 28 members, who include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba's Jack Ma, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, will allow firms to get their ideas into the marketplace. No details on the coalition's size was available but Gates did say the group's goal is as much accelerating progress on clean energy as it is making a profit.
His announcement came as the United Nations conference on climate change kicked off in Paris on Sunday, where governments hope to ink an agreement to cap the rate of global warming at 2 degrees Celsius compared with the current rate of 2.5-3.76 degrees.