The fund will help develop innovative European companies and bring new clean energy technologies to the market. It will support Europe's best clean energy entrepreneurs whose solutions can deliver significant and lasting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The first of its kind, it caters to the capital intensity and long development horizons that energy technologies need.
Bill Gates, Chairman of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, said, “Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe is a great example of driving innovative ways for the private and public sectors to collaborate, deploy capital, and build companies. We have the resources to make a meaningful difference, and the flexibility to move quickly. That's a rare and powerful combination.”
Funding for BEV-E will include a €50 million contribution from the European Investment Bank guaranteed by InnovFin, a financial instrument funded through the EU's research and innovation program, and a €50 million contribution from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund committed to supporting cutting-edge companies in the energy sector.
The fund will invest in five major energy-related sectors where efforts are essential in fighting climate change: electricity, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and buildings. Investments are expected to start in the second half of 2019, at which time EU Member States and countries associated with Horizon 2020 will be eligible to apply for BEV-E funding.
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank responsible for innovation, stated, “Successfully tackling climate change needs CO2-neutral energy production – and we do not have much time to achieve this. Deployment of cutting-edge technologies must be accelerated. This financing will allow new technology to replace fossil-intensive energy generation. The European Investment Bank is pleased to work with world class partners to support the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe fund.”
The new fund will contribute to fulfilling the EU's commitments outlined in the Commission's “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, including proposals designed to support clean energy innovation, increase energy efficiency, boost renewable energy usage and reform the European energy market. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have adopted all proposals from the package.