Tech titans are turning their attention to clean energy, as Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan (Zuckerberg’s wife) and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced the launch of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.
The organization said on its website:
The world needs widely available energy that is reliable, affordable and does not produce carbon. The only way to accomplish that goal is by developing new tools to power the world. That innovation will result from a dramatically scaled-up public research pipeline linked to truly patient, flexible investments committed to developing the technologies that will create a new energy mix. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is working together with a growing group of visionary countries who are significantly increasing their public research pipeline through the Mission Innovation initiative to make that future a reality.
And Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post:
Solving the clean energy problem is an essential part of building a better world. We won’t be able to make meaningful progress on other challenges–like educating or connecting the world–without secure energy and a stable climate. Yet progress towards a sustainable energy system is too slow, and the current system doesn’t encourage the kind of innovation that will get us there faster.
The Breakthrough Energy Coalition will invest in ideas that have the potential to transform the way we all produce and consume energy. As leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference: COP-21 in Paris this week, we hope this will encourage more partners to make innovation a priority in the fight against climate change.
We already invest in renewable and clean energy for our Facebook facilities today, but we believe that building a positive future for the next generation also means investing in long-term projects that companies and governments don’t fund. This is an important focus for us, and we’ll share more about it in the coming days.
Here’s a photo of Bill and me taken by Wired.
Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the Breakthrough Energy Coalition?