- Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe (BEV-E), a new €100 million investment fund was established by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Ventures during the Fourth Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in Vancouver, Canada this week.
The fund will help develop innovative European companies and bring radically 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.
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 programme, and a €50 million contribution from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund committed to supporting cutting-edge companies in the energy sector.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures consists of a coalition of corporate and private investors including SAP, GE, Jeff Bezos, Vinod Khosla, Jack Ma and South African billionaire, Patrice Motsepe .
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.”
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.
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.
In December 2017, during the One Planet Summit in Paris, Breakthrough Energy announced the piloting of public-private partnerships with five Mission Innovation members, including the European Commission.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal