By Elizabeth Willoughby on
Philanthropist Bill Gates says he’s already invested about one billion dollars in various innovative companies combating climate change, and he plans on investing another two billion over the next five years.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates said that current renewables will not be able to keep up with energy growth: “There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewable 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.”
Energy suppliers have never been motivated to come up with breakthrough technology, but Gates says governments should support R&D on renewables to identify reliable sources of zero-carbon power. “There’s so much uncertainty and there are so many different paths,” he said, “it should be like the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Project,” with regards to governmental funding. He cites, for example, possibilities in nuclear recycling, where plants would run on nuclear waste.
“The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation,” said Gates. “Innovation really does bend the curve.”
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