Tags: bill gates | clean energy | vital | world | population

Bill Gates: Clean, Reliable Energy Vital to World's Population

(CNN/"New Day")

By    |   Monday, 30 Nov 2015 11:36 AM

All things that enable a modern lifestyle are energy intensive, and making that energy clean and reliable is vital to the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Monday, outlining an initiative he's spearheading that will eventually pour billions of dollars into basic energy research over the next five years.

"I see the price of energy actually being lower than today," Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation," told CNN's "New Day" program during an interview from the United Nations-sponsored climate talks opening in Paris.

"I see huge benefits to everyone, particularly the poor, who don't have air conditioning, they don't have a stove, they don't have refrigeration, they don't have lights at night."

And only by making energy clean and low cost "can we really solve the problems of poverty," he continued.

One of the United States' central goals for the summit is to seek commitments from the wealthier nations to invest in clean energy research and assist developing countries in mitigating the effects of climate change.  President Barack Obama hopes to push the effort by highlighting both public and private efforts, such as Gates' push for billions of dollars for energy research.

Already, 20 countries, including the world's biggest carbon emitters in the U.S., China, and India, have agreed to increase spending in that area from $10 billion to $20 billion over the next five years.

Gates said Monday that 28 of the nation's wealthiest investors are already signed on to help raise seed funding for new technology to expand the use of clean energy technology through his project's initiative."

"The key to getting increased commitments to avoid the temperature rise that we want to avoid is going to be innovation," said Gates.

"We need to bring cost premium for being clean down. And the partnership that's key to that is governments funding basic research, and private investors, like the group of 28 people I brought together, to take the high-risk venture investments and turn those into products so we can have clean energy that's not more expensive than today's hydrocarbon energy."

Gates said he was "amazed" at the enthusiasm from the 28 investors he contacted.

"Some of them will do the investment directly, some will work through a fund that we will create that will help get the breakthrough technologies," said Gates. "I'm sure we'll get more signing up. We didn't go after institutions, but we'll be approaching those in the months ahead."

Meanwhile, he admitted that energy investment is risky, and it helps to have people who believe in the cause, but he's optimistic.

"We can get that premium down so the idea of a clean energy generation doesn't require the poorer countries slow down their development," said Gates. 

The best thing of all, he said, would be getting competitive with the price of hydrocarbon.

"There have been a lot of tax credits involved," Gates said. "There's been a lot of what we call renewable furlough standards. In the long run, you need the innovation so the cost of clean is as low or ideally lower than the coal-based energy generation. That's why the science is so exciting now."

He said the entrepreneurs will create a foundation over the next decade that will allow funding for more than 100 companies, and "enough of those will be successful to make this challenge."

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All things that enable a modern lifestyle are energy intensive, and making that energy clean and reliable is vital to the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Monday...
bill gates, clean energy, vital, world, population
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2015-36-30
Monday, 30 Nov 2015 11:36 AM
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