Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has announced that he will be investing $2 billion in the green technology industry over the next five years. This would double his current investments in renewable energy projects. Through the Gates Foundation, he has been investing his fortune in green technology for years. Now, he is increasing his investment to give the industry greater resources to innovate.
Gates has said that the best method of combating climate change will be innovation. The billionaire philanthropist said he hopes to “bend the curve” through the cultivation of “breakthrough” technologies. Gates’ innovative nature helped make Microsoft into one of the most valuable technology companies in the world. During his time helming the company, Microsoft grew into a technological juggernaut with billions of dollars in sales annually.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates mentioned that he already invests in technologies such as solar chemical power, wind power, battery storage, and free carbon capture. These investments are spread out among 45 companies in the green technology industry. Those investments included directly providing funding to 15 companies and contributing venture capital funds to 30 more.
The limits of current green technology products was one of the things that helped spur his decision. He said, “There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind.”
Gates said that far greater funding for renewable research was needed. Gates also said that he believes that investing in green technology and promoting innovation is a responsibility of the government. Renewable energy and green technology are expected to draw trillions in investment over the next quarter century. It will be interesting to see what kind of new innovations result from this substantial investment in the green technology industry.