The UK government has formed a partnership with Bill Gates to invest in ‘next generation’ green technologies.
The partnership, announced at the Global Investment Summit, will pump money into green technologies that aren’t attracting as much support from investors.
This will include green hydrogen (obtained from electrolysis of water), long term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture of carbon dioxide.
The UK government and Gates are putting in £200m each, Downing Street says.
Although, there’s some confusion about the size of the project. Johnson double-checked the numbers with Bill Gates on stage, and the Microsoft founder glibly replied that it’s actually £400m each.
This display of the business acumen that made Gates one of the world’s richest people startled the PM...
...After joking that he’ll need go back to the chancellor Rishi Sunak for the extra cash, Johnson explains that these technologies could offer ‘real, real hope to humanity’.
We want to support direct air capture, longterm battery life, jet zero, and green hydrogen.
These are all technologies that have massive potential but they are currently underinvested in, compared to some others.
The Government has already committed at least £200m for the development, demonstration and deployment of UK projects in these areas -- and Gates is now matching that cost through his Breakthrough Energy Catalyst project.
Gates explains that the “Green Premium” for these technologies are currently very high, (making them currently uneconomic).
But by making investments in the UK, in partnership with the government, Gates argues it should be possible to cut the costs of clean technologies so they can compete with and replace the high-emitting products we use today.
“We will scale those up and bring down that cost, so we’ll get these to the same place we are today with solar and onshore wind, and so they can be scaled up to reduce emissions,.
Breakthrough Energy Catalyst brings together a coalition of private investors who want to back innovation to tackle climate change.