Going All In on Clean Energy by Kevin delaney

Many scientist and engineers, as well as citizens, are wondering if the next administration will continue to pay for developments in clean energy research? The inauguration marks a change in many aspects of our feral government. Wealthy investors (such as Bill Gates) are putting forth effort to fund research that provide clean and affordable enegy. They are investing in companies that work towards revolutionizing the way we get and use energy. An example of this would be building a nuclear power plant. This "clean tech investment board" have come together to create the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund, which will invest $1 billion in clean energy research starting next year.

The downside is that clean energy hasn’t exactly provided the greatest returns for investors in the past. According to an MIT study of venture capitalist investment in clean energy, "firms invested more than $25 billion from 2006-2011—and lost more than half of that money". However, the members on this board are wealthy enough to not need (or expect) a direct and fast return in profit, they might not see a significant gain in the next 20-25 years or so. They are "patient" and willing to "take a bet on clean energy".

The problem is that the federal government research centers need to be cooperation with this clean energy project, the presidential administration is also needed to fund a large part of the research, facilities and equipment that go into this project. "The are piggy packing on government research" and trying to get it commercialized.

I chose this article as it is a relevant issue that is changing with and affected by politics. Clean energy is a factor of our environment that is linked to many components such as global warming, the economy, technology, extinction and resources. I find it very interesting how a personally funded board is working both with and against the federal government in order to come up with new research and equipment to provide clean and usable energy on a large scale. The administration behind a project such as the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund is based on a gamble worth 1 billion dollars and investors don't expect an equal revenue any time soon. This enormous contribution should and encourage and inspire many citizens to make their own small contribution and effort towards creating clean energy and a cleaner future.


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