Energy innovation is focus of Gates-led $1 billion fund

Bill Gates said government investment is not enough to drive an energy revolution
Bill Gates said government investment is not enough to drive an energy revolution

Bill Gates is leading a coalition of powerful investors committing more than one billion dollars to clean energy innovations in the fight against climate change, his foundation announced Monday.

The fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin founder Richard Branson, philanthropist George Soros and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

The venture "will finance emerging energy breakthroughs that can deliver affordable and reliable zero ," said a statement from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

More details are expected in a teleconference Monday at 1930 GMT.

Last year, Gates announced he would commit one billion dollars of his own fortune to developing clean energy alternatives.

It remained unclear how much the BEV fund would devote to the effort.

Its focus is broad, and will include transportation, electricity, manufacturing, buildings and agriculture.

"We will invest in technologies that have the potential to reduce by at least half a gigaton," said the fund's website, www.b-t.energy/ventures.

"We will invest in technologies with an existing scientific proof of concept that can be meaningfully advanced."

In a video message posted online, Gates said "the modern lifestyles we lead depend on a huge amount of energy," most of which is derived from polluting fossil fuels like coal, gasoline, natural gas which, when burned, heat up the atmosphere and changes the climate.

Government investment is important, he said, but it is not enough to drive an revolution.

"What we need to do is fund the researchers who are looking at the early stages of these problems," he said.

Having people willing to fund high risk ventures could change the equation, he said.

"I am optimistic. I think we will get the increased investment if we come together, really realize what solves the problem, then we will make the breakthroughs."


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Dec 12, 2016
My guess is community based thorium fuse batteries. Start the reaction with a nuclear engineer and all the safety involved, then leave it underground in place for the 20+ years it takes to burn through the thorium. Replace with a new tube when nearly done and repeat until other options become cheaper and safer.

Dec 12, 2016
" all the safety involved,"
------------------------

Oh, yes, . . . that.

Nuclear reactor buried out of sight? What could go wrong with the water table?

I am against anything being deep-well injected or buried, because we tend to forget it or ignore it. And we do not know what is really going on down there.

Dec 12, 2016
Nuclear reactor buried out of sight?

I am against anything being deep-well injected or buried ... we do not know what is really going on down there.
"Nuclear Fission Confirmed as Source of More than Half of Earth's Heat"
"Earth is chock full of such radioactive elements—primarily uranium, thorium and potassium."
"Roughly 20 terawatts of heat"
https://blogs.sci...hs-heat/
https://blogs.sci...-africa/
"A natural nuclear fission reactor is a uranium deposit where self-sustaining nuclear chain reactions have occurred."
"The natural nuclear reactor formed when a uranium-rich mineral deposit became inundated with groundwater that acted as a neutron moderator, and a nuclear chain reaction took place."
https://en.wikipe..._reactor


Dec 12, 2016
My guess is community based thorium fuse batteries.

They say, and I quote:
We will invest in technologies with an existing scientific proof of concept that can be meaningfully advanced."

Thorium batteries don't qualify on that score.

Dec 12, 2016
... we do not know what is really going on down there.
"The Moon may have formed in a nuclear explosion"
"Their hypothesis is that the centrifugal forces would have concentrated heavy elements like thorium and uranium on the equatorial plane and at the Earth core-mantle boundary. If the concentrations of these radioactive elements were high enough, this could have led to a nuclear chain reaction that became supercritical, causing a nuclear explosion."
"After it became supercritical the Earth basically became a natural nuclear georeactor that exploded and ejected into orbit the lunar-sized blob that became the Moon."
http://phys.org/n...ion.html
https://en.wikipe...pothesis
https://sservi.na...plosion/

gskam, go to a safer planet on your wind/solar-powered starship.

Dec 12, 2016
Antialias_Physorg,

Nuclear technologies in general fit the bill. Remember, France has much lower per capita CO2 emissions than Germany or Denmark.

Dec 12, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 12, 2016
My comment regarding the fact we have no way to even store radioactive waste got censored.

But we do not.

Dec 12, 2016
...no way to even store radioactive waste...
"Safe methods for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste are technically proven; the international consensus is that this should be geological disposal." Earth's core is already naturally radioactive since billion years.
http://www.world-...agement/
http://spectrum.i...lution/0
http://en.wikiped...pository
"A flight between Europe and North America, expose you to more radiation than hanging with friends around nuclear waste"
https://scontent-...5893CDB4

Dec 12, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 12, 2016
If you has an extra brain cell you wouldn't argue with WillieWard and steer off topic so much.

Dec 13, 2016
It's not off-topic, it is a reference to the magnitude of the scales in what Gates can produce and what it will cost for one nuclear disaster. It shows where we should not put his or our money.

Dec 13, 2016
It shows where we should not put his or our money.
Energiewende: no nukes, more renewables = more fossil fuels. At cost of trillions euros, 6x more carbon-intensive than France.
It shows where governments should not put the taxpayers' hard-earned money.
"Germany has given us an unfortunate example of how *not* to solve climate change and pollution."
https://scontent-...58B2720A

Dec 13, 2016
It shows where governments should not put the taxpayers' hard-earned money.
Notice how nuclear-powered countries like France and Switzerland are green while Germany is brown, lignite brown coal.
https://pbs.twimg...k7Ja.jpg
https://electrici...mrow.co/
"Germany has given us an unfortunate example of how *not* to solve climate change and pollution."



Dec 13, 2016
Energy innovation will mean no more costly deadly nukes.

Compare the projected cost of power from Hinkley with the cost of wind and PV solar.

Dec 13, 2016
Compare the projected cost of power from Hinkley with the cost of wind and PV solar.
Compare a compact reliable carbon-free energy with a weak intermittent unicorn energy backed up by coal or natural gas/fracking when sun is not shinning or wind is not blowing or during prolonged droughts.
I.e., compare France(nuclear) with Germany(solar&wind + coal).
https://pbs.twimg...BVFH.jpg
"Storage needed for periods when the wind and sun aren't available is not practical for long periods."
https://scontent-...46_o.jpg
https://scontent-...58D5AF9B
https://scontent-...589BE07C
https://pbs.twimg...77cb.jpg

Dec 13, 2016
Wind and solar have taken over first place in importance. Coal and nukes are now second-tier suppliers, demoted by better technologies. It must be galling for nuke operators to find themselves in the second-rate status, playing follow-up to renewable plants.

Dec 13, 2016
Wind and solar have taken over first place in importance.
Stop fooling the public, there is no cost-effective batteries/energy storage.
A megalopolis can be powered exclusively either by a carbon-free nuclear or by a fossil fuel power plant, but there is no very-large city solely powered by wind/solar unicorn energy without fossil fuels as backup. In the end, wind/solar is neither cheap nor carbon-free.
better technologies.
What joke! They're not revolutionary(no breakthroughs), they're just expensively subsidized evolution of medieval windmills and solar cookers.
So dark ages.

Dec 14, 2016
...demoted by better technologies.
"The trillion euro invested by EU into wind and solar for the past 15 years counts for nothing"
"The only successful pathways for decarbonizing the electricity sector are through HYDRO an NUCLEAR!"
https://scontent-...58B2DFEE
https://electrici...mrow.co/

Dec 14, 2016
Can the new stuff from Gates achieve this?

http://analysis.p...tt-2017?

Dec 14, 2016
Can the new stuff from Gates achieve this?

http://analysis.p...tt-2017?
solar plant assembly drive costs towards $1 per watt in 2017
Except "batteries not included", it is prohibitively expensive, so natural gas/fracking instead.
"Natural gas-fired peaking power plants are around $1 per watt ($1,000/kW) of electrical capacity"
https://en.wikipe...on_costs

Dec 14, 2016
A buck a Watt, and no fuel charges. It can never melt down and kill us. It does not take highly-trained engineers to run. No moving parts means no failures

And the "waste" is shade for PV and/or a gentle breeze for WTGs.

What do you do with your toxic and radioactive nuclear waste?

Dec 14, 2016
It can never melt down and kill us...
...And the "waste" is shade for PV and/or a gentle breeze for WTGs.
Workers are better protected from radiation in a nuclear power plant than in wind/solar and coal industries.
"By far the largest collective dose to workers per unit of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural radionuclides during mining."
"a study has been done that shows that of most of the options to generate electricity, nuclear actually releases the least amount of radiation."
"Coal ... is also a strong emitter of ... radiation"
http://mzconsulti...m/?p=846
http://www.unscea...4696.pdf
"Want to minimize radiation from power generation – build more nuclear"
death/TWh: coal 161.00, solar 0.44, wind 0.15, nuclear 0.04

Dec 14, 2016
You can't hide from Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Which one is next?

Dec 15, 2016
Let's have a contest to see who predicts when and where we get the next nuclear disaster.

Grand Gulf? Indian Point? Another Russian fiasco?

Dec 15, 2016
..disaster...Grand Gulf? Indian Point? Another Russian fiasco?
gskam is praying with all his faith for a blessed disaster, meanwhile also he can watch the green greed energy on action/real-time and contemplate all its ineffectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions.
"You think Germany and Denmark are the clean energy leaders in Europe? Find out the truth here in real time"
https://electrici...mrow.co/
"Our Irrational Fear Of Radiation Is Costing Us -- And The Planet"
http://www.forbes...-not-be/
"Anti-science activism and statistics-illiterate fear-mongering are killing millions of people."
http://mobile.bus...r-2015-6

Dec 15, 2016
"Our Irrational Fear Of Radiation Is Costing Us"
-----------------------------------

Really?

Does it cost us $190,000,000,000??

That's how much you nuke apologists cost the Decent Folk at Fukushima alone.

Dec 15, 2016
Does it cost us $190,000,000,000??
$1,000,000,000,000 (trillion euros) for nothing, except to prove that renewable is an expensive scam subsidized with taxpayers' money.
"Germany risks missing 2020 climate targets, ministry report shows" - Dec 14, 2016
"The report will embarrass Chancellor Angela Merkel ... She has also pushed through a switch to renewable energy."
http://www.reuter...BN1431EN
Lesson from Germany's Energiewende: no nukes, more renewables = more fossil fuels. People REFUSE to accept this truth, there is no cost-effective batteries/energy storage, so it is needed fossil fuels instead. In the end, wind/solar is neither cheap nor carbon-free.
"Our Irrational Fear Of Radiation Is Costing Us -- And The Planet"


Dec 15, 2016
Forty years. More than an entire generation will pass in grossly-expensive work to do what nobody has been able to do yet at Fukushima. All because nobody wanted to face the reality of nuclear power - world-wide danger.

I do not think Gates will show us the way. We already know it. Maybe he can help institute it, though.

Dec 16, 2016
..nobody wanted to face the reality of nuclear power..
The reality is that carbon-free nuclear power causes fewer fatalities and is much more ecologically friendly than renewables per gigawatt produced even including Chernobyl and Fukushima. It is saving lives by preventing air pollution, a thing that renewables have proven incapable to perform, e.g. Germany.
"Coal plants in Germany and Poland alone cause over 7,000 premature deaths abroad - 4,700 from Poland and 2,500 from Germany."
http://energyandc...-deaths/
http://d2ouvy59p0...port.pdf
https://blogs.sci...on-more/
https://thinkprog...iny7qsbv

Dec 16, 2016
..face the reality of nuclear power..
"nuclear and hydroelectric power remain the cheapest way to deeply decarbonize modern electrical grids."
"The full cost of deploying solar and wind generation capacity, however, is not fully captured by the cost of solar panels and turbines. Wind and solar are intermittent sources of power and bring significant further costs associated with their integration into electrical grids.." ".. can vary from relatively modest to prohibitive." "..rely heavily on fossil fuels, they tend to do so at significantly higher cost."
"nuclear and hydro have both lower carbon intensity and cheaper electricity"
http://thebreakth...nization

Dec 16, 2016
TEPCO: We are sorry we screwed up and it will cost our little nation $190,000,000,000, but we will still charge you high prices for electricity while YOU pay for the cost of our hubris and profits.
--------------------
We can do better than this dangerous and costly technology. They had 60 years and still cannot control it.

Dec 18, 2016
dangerous and costly technology
"folks remain confused about the true cost of wind and solar"
"wind and solar farms only produce 30 percent of their advertised power on average with the rest provided primarily by burning coal or natural gas, largely methane — and methane, a greenhouse gas, is initially 70 times worse than carbon dioxide"
"absurd claim that wind power has no fuel costs."
"reliance on inefficient solar farms and bird-, bat- and human-killing windmills has been a step backward for wildlife and the environment."
"Windmills are killing millions of birds and bats every year"
"Just in England, there were 163 wind turbine accidents that killed 14 people in 2011, which translates to about 1,000 deaths per billion kilowatt hours. … In contrast, during the same period, nuclear energy produced 90 billion (kilowatt hours) in England with no deaths."
http://www.duluth...-economy

Dec 18, 2016
We can supply solar PV to every appropriate house in America for the kind of money it will take just to "clean up" Fukushima, whatever that means, because so far they do not know.

It makes no sense to use nukes, since they still cannot generate power as cheaply as renewables, which leave no toxic and intensely-radioactive waste.

Dec 18, 2016
We can supply solar PV to every appropriate house in America for the kind of money...
stop fooling the public with your scaremongering tales to waste their hard-earned money on unicorn energy pipe dreams that need fossil fuels to keep lights on when sun is not shinning or wind is not blowing because cost-effective batteries/energy storage does not exist.

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