Bill Gates forms partnership with UK Government to mobilise £400m green innovation fund
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed a new strategic partnership with Bill Gates's energy innovation platform that will mobilise £400m for cutting-edge green technologies that drive progress towards net-zero emissions.
The new program was confirmed at the Global Investment Summit and will leverage a mixture of public and private funding to accelerate the development of green hydrogen, long-term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture.
The UK Government will form a partnership with Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. The Catalyst will match the £200m that the Government has committed to the aforementioned technologies through the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The Portfolio was announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for the Green Industrial Revolution.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We will only achieve our ambitious climate goals if we rapidly scale up new technologies in areas like green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels – technologies that seemed impossible just a few years ago.
“Ahead of COP26, this new partnership with Catalyst is a boost to the UK’s vision for a green industrial revolution. It will help to bring innovative technologies to market globally, while building new skills and creating high-quality jobs across the UK.”
Last year, trade bodies including WindEurope and SolarPowerEurope received backing from Breakthrough Energy – of which Catalyst is part of – to form a new coalition aimed at growing renewable hydrogen production and use across the continent.
Called the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition, the initiative has been launched in recognition of the fact that more than 90% of the hydrogen produced globally in 2019 used fossil fuels. While hydrogen is posited as a key way to tackle emissions from sectors like aviation, shipping and heat, low-emission production is needed before it is classed as a robust solution.
The Coalition will build a network of academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, trade bodies and large businesses. It also has backing from the EU’s commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, who played a key role in the development of the bloc’s hydrogen strategy. The framework includes a goal to produce 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030.
The UK Government announced a £500m funding package to support 5GW of domestic low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030. The support formed part of Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for the green recovery.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce that deals worth £9.7bn have been secured at the Summit.
Bill Gates, Founder, Breakthrough Energy, said: “Our partnership with the United Kingdom will accelerate the deployment of these critical climate solutions, helping to make them more affordable and accessible.
“In order to achieve net-zero emissions, we need to reduce the costs of clean technologies so they can compete with and replace the high-emitting products we use today – I call this difference in price the Green Premium. Working with public and private sector leaders, including the UK, Catalyst will be a key vehicle for reducing Green Premiums, building the clean industries of tomorrow, and creating lasting jobs in communities around the world.”